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History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

How old is this man?

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2005, 09:12 AM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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How old is this man?

Here is another wonderful photo. By the clothes, hair and beard I am dating this in the 1850s. It is positively identified as "Isach" [sic] but I have an Isaac Sr. and an Isaac Jr., both living at that time.

Perhaps some of you with retouch experience can help determine Isaac's age based on your knowledge of face construction. Is this Isaac Sr. who was born 1772, therefore in his late seventies, early eighties? Or is this Isaac Jr. who was born about 1803, therefore in his late forties, early fifties?

Again, I've done nothing to this photo other than cropping and resizing for posting. If anyone would like to play with restoring, please feel free.

ML
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File Type: jpg Isaac-Wood.jpg (94.3 KB, 139 views)
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Old 08-11-2005, 01:46 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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i would say that is not a man in his forties. the deep lines in his face, the sagging eyelids, and long graying hair put him much older. 70's would seem fairly close. this is hardly exact. i've seen contemporary men in their 50's that look like they're in the 70's, and men in their 70's that look 50. but in general, i'd put this gentleman in his late 60's to early to mid 70's.

Craig

edit: is that white under his chin a beard or image damage?
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:32 PM
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terivon terivon is offline
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Thumbs down dating photograph

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryLynn
Here is another wonderful photo. By the clothes, hair and beard I am dating this in the 1850s. It is positively identified as "Isach" [sic] but I have an Isaac Sr. and an Isaac Jr., both living at that time.

Perhaps some of you with retouch experience can help determine Isaac's age based on your knowledge of face construction. Is this Isaac Sr. who was born 1772, therefore in his late seventies, early eighties? Or is this Isaac Jr. who was born about 1803, therefore in his late forties, early fifties?

Again, I've done nothing to this photo other than cropping and resizing for posting. If anyone would like to play with restoring, please feel free.

ML
This is Isaac Jr., and you are very close with his age.The photograph actually dates to about 1857-1862 by my estimation, based on his clothing, and more telling, the combo of his clothing and his beard.
The beard was a very popular one of this era within specific cross sections of society. While most are familiar with the beard without the mustache being a symbol of religious or spiritual belief system, during this era it was often a symbol of politically conservative leanings. It was a time when people wore their political leanings quite literally upon their face.
It would be interesting to see if he were making a religious, political, or fashion statement!
Good luck to you.
Teri

P.S. I believe this is an ambrotype by the way. Nice faint rosing on the cheek and lips too.

Last edited by terivon; 08-11-2005 at 02:34 PM. Reason: added detail..
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:42 PM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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Thanks, both of you, for your input. Yes, Craig, the white under the chin is a beard, not image damage. Teri, the idea of the beard being a statement of his convictions, whatever they may have been, is very interesting.

Both Isaacs were Vermont born farmers. Isaac Sr. moved the family to New York, along the Erie Canal, in the 1820s. He and his wife Anna spent their last years living with a daughter and her family. By 1860 Isaac Sr. had died but Anna was still living. Isaac Jr. was in New York in 1850 and moved to Wisconsin by 1860.

Whichever this is, it is proof of my Great great grandmothers' parentage. I have never been able to find exactly who her father was. I had found a family in the right place at the right time but they had seven sons. The older three or four were old enough to be her father but I wasn't sure which one. I suspected it might have been Isaac but until now I had nothing to confirm it.

So, this is either her father or her brother. I'm just thrilled to have the photo and the connection.
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:43 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Mary Lynn,

Can't help with the question about his age, just liked the picture, so thought I'd try to clean it up the a little.

Hope I haven't lost too much detail.
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File Type: jpg Isaac-Wood copy 2.jpg (96.9 KB, 86 views)
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Old 08-12-2005, 03:08 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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great job, gary! you really found the detail!

Craig
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Old 08-12-2005, 06:11 PM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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I agree, thanks, Gary!
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:35 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Thanks for the kind comments.

I really liked this picture, the man in it looks as if he was a real character.
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Old 08-15-2005, 10:47 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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I am inclined to think it maybe junior as unless he is really well preserved, his nose does not appear to have 'spread' nor 'droop' and there is an unusual lack of gravity for an elderly gent in the facial department. Taking into account that many early photos are fairly austere anyway, I think this chap fits the 50+ age group. If we had ears, then we could see if they were enlarged or not and that would also help. The fullness of the lips also contraindicates a gent in his 70's/80's
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:50 PM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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Wonderful old photo and in pretty good shape too.
If the photo is not a tintype or dag., that is, it is mounted on a backing card , it most likely dates from the 1860's most likely and is an example of the Albumen type photo, a technique which replaced the earlier methods around 1860 and was the predominant form of photography up into the late 1880's and 1890's when the developed out print began to emerge.
The mismatched vest,coat etc. is typical of mens dress up through the late 1890's and would have been the norm for this era.
Age wise I would estimate based on the skin and muscle tone , around 60 years old. Remember, in the good old days such luxuries as we now enjoy were mostly unknown and just the act of living tended to be an exercise in stamina.....Tom
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