Monday, May 3, 2010

Madness Monday ~ Somber faces. Who are you and what stories could you tell?!

My Mother was given a small photo album in the late 1960's by my Father's family. It's like a small bible, 4" x 5 1/2" x 1 1/2". She carefully removed each photo, only to find that none of them had names on them. How disappointing.

A few years ago I started to do some research and found that it is a "carte-de-visite" album. These were popular in the 1860's and even up to the late 1890's. They were so popular that for a period of time "carte mania" was all the rage!

Tintypes apparently were fairly easy and quick to produce. They were also affordable for most people to buy. They were usually made in sheets of 12 and then cut up with tin snips.

Because they were so durable, the soldiers during the Civil War could tuck them in a bible or carry them in a pocket without damaging them. They could also be cut quite small to be put into lockets and other jewellery.

So I have 28 antique photographs. Nineteen are tintypes (5 without paper frames and 14 with paper frames). Nine are  carte-de-visite (6 have the photographers logo stamped on the backside).

I've put these two together based on the stairway in the background. It looks like the stairway is actually a mural on the wall. Perhaps this boy and young man are brothers. They look a little alike. Don't you think?

Notice that the boy is holding a hat in his right hand. I've read that the photographer would have some clothes (hats and jackets) to lend customers for their portrait. It must have been exciting at that time to have a photo taken.

Now these antique tintypes would be about 150 years old. Amazing!

One of the sites I found a couple of years ago was Robert Vaughan's "Victorian and Edwardian Photographs"  It provides detailed  information an "how to identify" old photographs. An extensive  collection of his personal photographs and he provides excellent educational information.

It's well worth a visit.

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