Online resources can help you piece together clues from different eras
The Photo Organizers
Skipping this step is tempting, hook but avoid that temptation! Characteristics of the photograph itself provide clues to its age. The photograph below the cabinet card from above dates to the early s. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The key style clue here are her fancy pleated sleeve cuffs.
Know What You Already Know
By the time photography reached a mass market in the s, the concept of fashion was already well-established and was widely understood across the social spectrum. Email your old family photographs, along with any information you have about the photo and the person s in it to social ancestry. Who are the individuals in the photographs? Based on its size and composition, I confirmed that my picture was a tintype, a photographic technique that came into use in the mids and lasted until the turn of the century. Which two of my great-grandfather's brothers are these?
It has been taken somewhere in Ghana, west Africa. During the later s and s the male suit was tailored more narrowly, the jacket developing high, neat lapels and a handkerchief often worn in the breast pocket. This is a good question but photographic evidence suggests that in many cases even humbler working ancestors followed the latest styles. Reach out to those distant cousins.
Other things to look for on women are the presence and size of a bustle and the fullness of the skirt. Your email address will not be published. Share Tweet Share Pin Email. Could the photograph s be of her sisters, parents, or cousins? Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
- But it does help me rule out a pairing of Michael and Timothy.
- Being able to determine the approximate date and time of photographs may confirm existing research or lead you to discover new ancestors in your family tree.
- Throughout the later s, the front of the skirt became progressively flatter, with the emphasis growing increasingly on the back.
- The cabinet card reached its peak popularity in the s but was used into the early s.
Notice the center part with the bangs. Are the individuals family members? Betty Shubert is a historical fashion expert and the author of Out of Style. Photo was often displayed in an ornate, hinged box.
The fellow at the top center, wears a work shirt. Time to log on to the computer! Like the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes are in small hinged cases. In my photo, both men are wearing loose-fitting jackets with wide lapels.
Mary Minnie was photographed in mid to late s. Hi please help me know the year in which this photo of our grandmother has been taken. You may not have much oral history in your family or a large extended family to ask. Another extensive online resource is the Library of Congress.
Type of photograph To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J. To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J. Research the hair and clothing fashions you find. Ideally we should consider all these criteria when considering the clothing of family members as seen in old photographs. Close examination of sleeves and collars can provide valuable information.
Her full skirt and the fuller sleeves were common in the fashions of Civil War women. In the early s, Michael would have been in his twenties and Peter in his teens and both were living in St. Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, matchmaking adjustment team builder we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs.
Dating Ancestor Photos Through Clothing and Hairstyles
- Early tintypes were put under glass, but later were placed in cardboard sleeves.
- Most likely, but if not, the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept throughout the years.
- Unknown woman, Photo courtesy of Joseph Woytta.
- The photographic process makes the photographs appear to float.
Some are obviously older photographs. Enter a photo type into its search engine and you will see many examples that may turn out to be similar to the photograph you are researching. Later, in the s and s, hand-knitted Fair Isle and other patterned knitwear was popular for jerseys and sleeveless vests. All you need is a solid plan, a genealogy toolbox, and the knowledge to use those tools. Like today, some of our forebears were more interested in their personal appearance than others, spending proportionately more of their income on new clothes and accessories.
Daguerreotypes This first successful photo process is attributed to Louis Daguerre. Fashionable clues I now turn to fashion to see if what these men are wearing can help me narrow the date range of the photo. Tiny boys often wore loose blouse-like tops or tunics and open shorts, around the turn of the century fig. Mary Minnie Left Mary Minnie was photographed in mid to late s. So, that is when I think this photo was taken.
Family historians often wonder whether their poorer forebears would have been able to dress very fashionably. She is offering to help a handful of community members date their historical family photographs. His beautiful Gibson Girls with their pompadour hairdos, dating became role models influencing fashion of late until well into the next century.
How to Date Your Old Photos
The typical lounge suit of the Edwardian era was slender or easy in cut, the lounge jacket made to around hip length and usually featuring neat lapels fig. Your email address is now confirmed. The arrangement of the bodice fabric followed prevailing female fashions and sleeves were usually short and puffed, perhaps trimmed with ribbons or frills fig.
You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go. Want help dating your old family photographs? This is such a great article on dating old photos. Betty has selected a handful of beautiful photos submitted by our community members and has provided her insights below to help color in the story of their ancestors.
Knowing the type of photo can still leave a large time period, but if you know the subject of the photo, your genealogical research should be able to help you narrow that. But tintype photo studios were still around into the early s as a novelty. One thing to note, when fashions reach their most extreme they usually change dramatically to the exact opposite. You can still have options for determining the date or age of a photograph.