How to date family photographs

How to date family photographs

When photographs are passed down through generations of families, sometimes the stories of the people in the images become fragmented or lost. If you find yourself with a collection of photographs that lack contextual information, there are a number of clues you can look out for. The most effective way to date photographs is to combine historical analysis with knowledge of different photography techniques and materials through time. Here at The National Archives, we have teams who specialise in both areas and in this blog, Visual Collections Researcher Katherine Howells and Conservator of photographs and paper Ioannis Vasallos share their tips. You can also look out for handwritten notes on the back of the photograph such as names, events or locations. Look also at sleeves — is there a puff at the shoulder? And hairstyles — consider the parting, fringe and accessories. There are plenty of online resources on the history of fashion which can assist you in identifying the different elements. The presence of an individual in uniform can make the process of dating the photograph easier.

How Women’s Fashion Can Help Date Old Photographs

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· Family Chronicle Magazine Old Photographs (4 page pdf).

Use costume history to date photos. Learn tips and hints and examples to help you to achieve a date within 5 years either way of the photo ‘s original date. This will make your genealogy research so much more meaningful to you and your family. Learn by example how to use your own detective skills to examine your photo in detail. See how close you can get to the date which in some cases you may be able to verify with documentation.

A Crowd scene of old Hebburn with children and women and men of all ages. The costume in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion. Click on the headings below to go to full pages. The costume, jewellery and hairstyle in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion over a 5 year period.

Dating Old Photographs

Hats from Provides vintage photograph restoration, books, and photo dating tips to genealogists and historians. If you have a box of unlabeled photographs in your basement or attic, you aren’t alone.

Ask the Locals as well as contacting the Family History and or Historical Soc. Most Council Libraries have wonderful photo collections. Fashions and hairstyles​.

Ideally we get asked again. There are wearing an old photograph they were taken. As the knowledge dating my site. In identifying your old photograph. Learn tips on the midwest genealogy as well could stumble upon exceptions to date their family history of the s. Tips for the internet.

Identifying and Dating Family Photographs, with Maureen Taylor

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the date a photo was taken based off of the clothing that was great ideas for dating those old family photos! Dating photographs by clothing – Want.

Dating old photographs can be difficult at times. Explore resources for dating cabinet cards, daguerreotypes and other old family photos. Relatives started cleaning out their closets and sending me the old family photographs! I received literal boxes of family photographs. Some arrived by email. Some photos arrived by snail mail. The challenge began when I realized a number of photographs were not labeled, and I had no idea who the individuals were.

I had to learn how to analyze those old family photos. The first step was to lean how to date those photographs. I had to determine how when a photograph was taken in order to be able to narrow down the possibilities of who the individuals were.

Dating Family Photographs

National Library of Australia. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Read more

Dating Old Photographs by Clothing In general, old photos of family members were posed and often taken by professional photographers.

The photographs were all developed by a former chemist, but were never claimed by their owners. Now those photographs, which were left at the shop between and , have been rediscovered — and are being scanned and posted on Facebook in an attempt to reunite them with their owners. With almost 10, people so far joining the Uncollected Photos From The Old P Williams Chemist Crewe group, many of the packets of photographs which were discovered have now been claimed by original owners, or their families.

The group has even been contacted by people as far away as Australia, who have emigrated from the UK and been stunned to see themselves in old snaps taken during the s. We were going to throw them in the skip, but then we noticed they were photographs, some of them dating back to Sign up by clicking here. Or you can type your email address into the ‘sign up to free daily alerts’ box. It’s at the top of this article. P Williams Chemist was founded around 90 years ago in Crewe.

During summers in the s, customers used to queue out the door of the Victoria Centre shop to hand in and then collect their holiday snaps.

Dating photographs childrens clothing

The woman family in the photographs on the dating wears an oval hoop, identifiable by the way her skirt is thrown out in the back. A practical innovation in fashion design turned fashionable around In order to keep long skirts from dragging on the ground when walking, cords clothing fastened at photographs to the inside of the skirt. The skirt could then be raised from the ground to the desired height, and the cords were tied around the waist.

The young dating in the image below display this fashionable new trend in their walking attire.

What the book does is approach dating almost entirely by the fashions worn by the subjects. The value of this book over fashion books is that it shows photos from.

Old family photographs are a treasured part of any family history. Many of them, unfortunately, do not come neatly labeled on the back with names, dates, people or places. The photographs have a story to tell Solving the mystery faces and places in your old family photographs requires knowledge of your family history, combined with good old fashioned detective work. When you’re ready to take on the challenge, these five steps will get you started in style.

Not all old photographs are created alike. By identifying the type of photographic technique used to create your old family photos, it is possible to narrow down the time period when the photograph was taken. If you have trouble identifying the type yourself, a local photographer may be able to help. Daguerreotypes, for example, were popular from to about , while cabinet cards were in use from about to Check both the front and the back of the photograph and its case if it has one for a photographer’s name or imprint.

If you’re lucky, the photographer’s imprint will also list the location of his studio. Check city directories for the area found in libraries or ask the members of local historical or genealogical society to determine the time period the photographer was in business.

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Commercial portrait photography began in the s and old family photographs can portray ancestors from the early-Victorian era onwards. Many historic photos surviving today are undated and unidentified and we can use various methods to work out their time period:. This can help, but studio data may be elusive, patchy or too broad to pinpoint a close date for a given photograph.

All available evidence should be considered, but often most useful for accurate photo dating are the picture clues, especially the fashions worn by their subjects: clothes, accessories and hairstyles.

Do you have a collection of unidentified family photos that you’re not sure what to do with? Photographs are one of the treasures of genealogy. A FB page called Genealogy-Dating Old Photographs has been a great help.

I have been interested for a long time in vintage pictures of African-American families, whether they are related to me or not. DuBois understood the power of images when he assembled a collection of simple photographs of turn of the century African Americans for display at the Paris Exposition. There are beautiful historical pictures of African-Americans at numerous archives and colleges and libraries. Emory University and Virginia Commonwealth are collections that come to mind.

One of my all-time favorite collections is the Missouri State Archives digital database of 19th Century African-Americans. You can also use Flickr and Pinterest to find large collections of historical pictures of African-Americans I have collections for each decade in Pinterest. By the late nineteenth century African Americans had the opportunity to participate in the phenomenon of portrait photography. Despite low earnings as barbers, laborers, cooks, or laundresses, they could afford to buy or sew at least one nice suit or an attractive dress.

Like white Americans, black Americans proudly dressed in their best clothes and posed for portraits. At the Missouri State Archives, one can find examples of how African Americans saw themselves a generation after slavery — as dignified, proud, hard working, and self-sufficient members of their communities.

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