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

Need help dating Photo

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Old 08-01-2007, 11:16 AM
Rebelsher Rebelsher is offline
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Need help dating Photo

Hi everyone- I need help dating this photo. A copy was scanned and sent to me over the internet so I haven't actually seen the original. I know the individual in the photo was born in 1836 in Philadelphia which is probably where the photo was taken, although it could also have been in New York as he lived there before the Civil War.

He was in South Carolina from the Civil War until 1880 when he went to Washington DC, so I don't believe it was taken after the Civil War began. Thanks for any help you can give me.

I hope the photo comes through ok. Sherry H.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:34 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Need help dating Photo

I'm no expert, but it appears to be an albumin print. Knowing the full print size might help, since the two most popular types of albumin prints were carte de visite and cabinet cards. The latter is quite a bit larger than the former, and was popular a decade or so later. Typically, a carte de visite photo would have been around 2x3.5 inches.

Carte de visite started to be popular around 1860, which would be right around the start of the civil war. That would also make the subject at least 25 years old at the time.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:38 AM
Rebelsher Rebelsher is offline
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Re: Need help dating Photo

Thanks, Doug. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a cabinet card because like you said they came in around 1870 from what I can find out. I don't know the originial prints size because it was sent to me via the internet. I'm trying to find out, but the person may not know. Thanks again. Sherry H.
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:01 PM
Charlene5 Charlene5 is offline
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Re: Need help dating Photo

Because a photograph was such a big occasion back in the day, people wore their best, most fashionable clothes. I don't know much about photographic history but I do know clothes. The gentleman's high starched collar, four in hand cravat, and shawl-collared waistcoat put him firmly in the time frame of the 1850's to the early 1860's.

Cheers,
MJ
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:29 PM
Rebelsher Rebelsher is offline
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Re: Need help dating Photo

Thank you, MJ. That's about what I had figured.

Sherry H.
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