Dating Ancestor Photos Through Clothing and Hairstyles
This is study of a father and his two adult daughter a year after the death of his wife. The sitters all wear mourning dress. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values, homelife and politics have all contributed to lifestyle trends which influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period. Sponsored by MMA News.
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A short history of Old Hebburn. Find more old photos discussed in other fashion-era sections: Fashion-era Forums Now closed. Could the photograph s be of her sisters, parents, or cousins?
Know What You Already Know
Check with your cousins, aunts, uncles…. You may not have much oral history in your family or a large extended family to ask. You can still have options for determining the date or age of a photograph. Characteristics of the photograph itself provide clues to its age.
The type of photograph can place your photograph in a specific time period. If you know the time period a photograph was taken, you can narrow down possible candidates on your family tree. The photographic process makes the photographs appear to float. Like the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes are in small hinged cases. Tintypes were popular for more than 30 years.
Instead of glass, the image was on an iron plate. Early tintypes were in small, hinged cases like the daguerreotypes and the ambrotypes. However, the cases were soon replaced by paper sleeves. Carte des Visites CDV were introduced in The carte de visite gained popularity quickly during the Civil War as soldiers and family exchanged photographs. Cabinet cards and carte des visites CDV are often confused.
Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs
Like the CDV, the cabinet card was also an albumen print on thin paper and mounted on thicker paper. The primary difference is the size. The cabinet card reached its peak popularity in the s but was used into the early s. Have you ever remembered when a photograph was taken of you based on your hairstyle or on the clothes you wore? Narrowing the date range a photograph was taken will narrow down the potential candidates the people can be.
The photograph below the cabinet card from above dates to the early s. This photograph of Mary Elizabeth Scott below was taken in the early — mids. Notice the center part with the bangs. Her hair is pulled into a bun in the back. The bodice of her dress along with the narrow sleeve is also indicative of this time period.
She wears a typical hairstyle of the day with a middle part and the hair styled over the ears. Her full skirt and the fuller sleeves were common in the fashions of Civil War women. Where do you find examples of hairstyles and fashions from different time periods?
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What type of photograph is it? Research the hair and clothing fashions you find. With this information, you will be able to estimate the date your photograph was taken and begin to narrow down who could possibly be in the photograph.