Share this Story Welcome to the fifth in our series of blogs about how to understand and interpret your old family photos. In this series, Jayne Shrimpton, internationally recognised dress historian, portrait specialist, photo detective and regular contributor to Family Tree, Your Family History and Family History Monthly magazines, dates and analyses different types of photographs and helps you to add context to your old family pictures. Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs. In any kind of portrait it is often the subject’s clothing that engages us most: Dress is a vast and complex subject, but here are some pointers to help with understanding, identifying and dating the clothing styles of those family members from the past who stood before the camera in their ‘Sunday best’. Fashion in photographs It was understood that clients visiting the photographer’s studio or, less commonly, those inviting a photographer to their home would be dressed in their best quality, most fashionable clothing. Wealthy subjects had many fashionable ensembles to choose from, whereas ordinary working-class ancestors usually donned their best outfit, kept for church on Sundays and special occasions. Everyone wished to create a good impression in the treasured photographs that would later be shown to family and friends and might be displayed in an album, or hung on the wall. Family historians often wonder whether their poorer forebears would have been able to dress very fashionably.
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Sarah Williams offers tips on dating old photographs Thursday, 12 December Read more blogs from the magazine team We received a Christmas card from the Llewellyn-Bowen family this week, Laurence, his wife and two daughters dressed up in a s jazz style. It made me think of our feature on postcards in our Christmas issue written by photo dating expert Jayne Shrimpton that included a Christmas postcard from her collection.
This card, sent from the Sudan in , features a photograph of a soldier inserted into a festive mount. We associate postcards now with holiday scenes, but in the first half of the 20th century they were also commonly used as mounts for personal photographs. We find some of the most common queries from readers are to do with photo dating.
From , this was a U. This allowed brighter colour printing that was also aided by the woven fabric texture. The linen texture enlivened the image by reflecting the light in multiple directions. At first, these postcards included a white border: Linen postcard with a white border. But this gradually disappeared as printing extended to the edges of the card: Linen postcard without a border. Most linen postcard production stopped in with the start of World War Two, although some printers continued with this fabric-based printing stock until the early s.
Introduced in , the modern chrome postcard, with richly coloured photographic images and no border on one side. Most linen and black and white postcard publishers either shut down or converted to producing Chrome postcards. Further, from time to time, reproductions of old pictures or photographs are repeated some decades later. Another possibility for finding an old postcard with a relatively modern postmark date is someone had taken the whim to stamp and post a vintage postcard.
This lightweight simple camera was preloaded with a exposure film. When all used, the camera and film were returned for processing either as sepia prints or as postcards.
Dating old photos A fine Victorian family group but not much use unless you have some idea of the main people in the picture. Here we appear to have a Victorian patriarch, centre front, with his wife on his right , his sons and daughters possibly with their spouses and either his mother or his mother-in-law, next to the young boy. The young men all look to be in their 30s but probably range from 20 upwards.
Unstylish jumper-type dresses usually made of khaki or jean material Sweaters with embroidery, appliques, etc. The easiest first step is to go the monochromatic route. This means wearing one simple color, like blue, red, green, black, white, khaki, at a time. You can always experiment with textures of the same color if you need more interest. For inspiration, see our Pinterest board of exclusively monochrome outfits.
Clothes for Women over 60 Take a look at fabulous women over sixty like Susan Sarandon, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, and you will notice that they keep the patterns to a minimum, tending to focus more on wearing solid colors. But when you do, keep it simple and consistent. Nothing Like a Great Accessory Caroline Herrera looks fabulous in a basic suit paired with a statement necklace. One area that older women always seem to get wrong is in the accessories department.
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I have various quibbles with this topic, which he and I have discussed many times. To me, the Dating a Widower movement, such as it is, looks like it’s just based on following Google to high readership. Just because people ask a question, doesn’t mean there is a substantive answer to be found
It’s a no-brainier that fashion trends change with time and they cater to different needs, age group and people. 18 year old girl (with svelte body) can sport a look which may look pretty odd on a 50 year old woman and vice-versa.
The Wizard is simple — you just have to peruse the multiple choices and click where appropriate. How Does the Wizard Work? The majority of card mounts were produced by a limited number of stationery printers who then customised them for a particular photographer by adding name, address, patrons, medals and various other individual requirements. Therefore, a particular design of card mount used in Manchester would be used at approximately the same time in York and Brighton as well — in fact countrywide.
Many characteristics were short lived as new mount designs and features were constantly introduced by the printers to encourage photographers to buy more mounts so as to remain up to date and in fashion. Some card mounts were produce by local printers and may not conform to the styles of the national providers. If it does not do so, because your photograph is one of the exceptions, we will custom date it personally for you at no extra cost.
Explore the world of Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards — see all of the most popular designs. Just a few examples are shown below to whet your appetite!
Found Photos & Family Memorabilia
Please update your billing information in My WorthPoint to reactivate your account! Dating Your Vintage Photographs — Part 2: No comments Many people inherit photographs of ancestors from generations past and often struggle with the frustrations of identifying the age of each picture.
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November 23rd, Dating photographs is one of the things the family history researcher is able to use, but often have a problem when it involves the age of the photograph. One of the reasons for this is due to the different types of paper or even tin that was used for the photograph. One of the things that can provide clues is the hair styles of the women in the picture, because just like today they changed hair styles.
While their hair would not be short, the type of bun, bangs or no bangs can provide hints to the age of the photograph. The clothing can also be an indicator in the age of a picture, women whether they lived in the country or the city for most photographs would be wearing the latest fashions. Men, on the other hand can be difficult as suits did not change from year to year.
The paper backing on the photograph can tell the age of some pictures; this includes pictures that have tin that the photograph was placed on. There are pictures that used daguerreotype, glass plate, cabinet card, and the thickness of the cabinet card can also tell the age of the picture. Looking at a picture and dating it, takes noticing all of the clues possible.
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I strive to make the most of my inches by selecting figure-flattering styles, which create slim lines to elongate my frame. My first very simple rule to follow is to know your figure type. Once you know your figure type, you can more easily identify what is going to look the best on you. Not every style or trend is meant for you to follow. I will do my best not to be totally conservative, boring and predictable, with these suggestions because fashion should be fun for you! The V-neckline and surplice wrap styling makes a petite woman appear leaner and elongated.
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Unearth your Jewish heritage. 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. When was the subject born? Did he live in a city or a small town? What work did he do? Both the men in my photo are young, but one appears to be older than the other, and he has arm slung around his younger brother’s shoulders.
Both are holding cigars. The elder is wearing a watch chain and a pinky ring.
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May 20, 1. They are too beautiful for you. The dedication that Russian women have to look beautiful is just scary.
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The photographs are all sizes. Some are obviously older photographs. Not one photograph is labeled! Who are the individuals in the photographs? Are the individuals family members? Most likely, but if not, the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept throughout the years. Identifying individuals in the photographs is possible. How do you get started? How did the photograph s come into your possession? The answers to these questions can narrow down which side of the family the photograph s belonged.
Email and social media make it easier to contact more distant relatives. Reach out to those distant cousins. Skipping this step is tempting, but avoid that temptation! Could the photograph s be of her sisters, parents, or cousins?