Dating old tintypes

These images were usually displayed in a small, hinged case and had a metal backing.

They often had a protective panel of glass in front of the image since the surface of the print was delicate.

You'll notice different sizes of pictures, colors of printing, and textures of paper.

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Photo postcards can be an especially valuable resource for genealogists.

They may feature a message from the sender and even an address.

If you have a box of unlabeled photographs in your basement or attic, you aren't alone.

Most families pass down photos that aren't labeled, and it takes a hard heart to throw away these little mysteries.

Similar in size and format to a daguerreotype, an ambrotype is developed on glass instead of metal. reports ambrotypes also have lower contrast between the light and dark parts of the image.

Ambrotypes were kept in small cases similar to a daguerreotype, but they don't feature the same reflective property.Sometimes, you can use a magnifying glass to make out a faint postmark date on the back of these photos too.The Met reports the first Kodak consumer camera, issued in 1888, revolutionized the world of photography and allowed people to take photography into their own hands.While some examples are larger, most daguerreotypes were small, typically two and a half by three and a quarter inches.When looking at the photo to decide if it's a daguerreotype, turn it from side to side in the light. notes that if it is a daguerreotype, the image itself will possess a reflective quality similar to a hologram or even a mirror.This type of cardboard-backed photo was made in a standard size to accommodate photo albums, so most were 2 by 3 1/2 inches, mounted on a slightly larger cardboard backing.

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