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

Old picture date?

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Old 06-26-2010, 07:03 AM
john718 john718 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 22
Old picture date?

Hello all, I found this picture in the floor of a Brooklyn brownstone. I would love to know what year it's from. The house was built in 1847. The lower right corner has an address corner of Franklin and Fulton Avs, Brooklyn ny.
embossed on the left is the name Pardee. ( Studio name or family name?)
I could not find a Fulton ave in Brooklyn unless I go back to 1870's. Any Ideas?

Also it mounted on leather or masonite.

Thanks John
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File Type: jpg Brooklyn photo 200dpi.jpg (76.7 KB, 74 views)
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:49 AM
Carol Heath's Avatar
Carol Heath Carol Heath is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Posts: 71
Re: Old picture date?

Hi John,

The embossed marking on the bottom of the mount is most likely the studio name and address. This can often be a useful tool in dating images, especially if the studio was only in business for a short period of time. Your next best option would be dating by fashion (clothing and hair). Lenore Frost (Australia) has an excellent book called Dating Family Photos" which helps with this task.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:58 PM
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ratpat13 ratpat13 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: CA
Posts: 85
Re: Old picture date?

Could be anywhere between 1860-1920's.


Last edited by ratpat13; 06-26-2010 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:45 PM
john718 john718 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: Old picture date?

Thanks, I was able to find the photographer in a 1880 census. He had a studio in brooklyn around 1890 through 1920. But no other records or pictures from his studio.

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Old 07-02-2010, 06:27 PM
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crabbyphoto crabbyphoto is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 57
Re: Old picture date?

Its many times hard to date a photo from hair and clothing style - but one slightly easier way of dating is the type of image. This style of photo on a matt board usually with a raised or imprinted studio name was sometimes called a Carte de Vista. Was indeed popular around that entire time period. Not sure the size of your image but there were a few different popular sizes an concepts. the 5X7 to 8X 10 sizes were intended for home display and many times studios offered smaller cards that were purchased in small volumes and traded like people trade sports cards. A calling card if you will. Having these cards to share was a status symbol to many.

Something interesting I have found that in those old days it can become hard to "Date the time" a photo was done as trends moved slowly across the US in the days. In other word what might have been (using my area for example) really popular in Baltimore Maryland took many years to travel to more rural areas in popularity especially for studio photographers. Traveling photographers are yet another thing. You might find a area or route where a certain style was popular, two photo trends come to mind. The tintype. And the formal portraits in the oval frames with convex glass. Companies providing these services offered their own photography framing and glass. All produced in their own factories. No two different traveling companies products were exactly the same. I discovered this trying to match images with frames during restoration projects.

Interesting stuff.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:07 AM
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LloydM LloydM is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Savannah Ga USA
Posts: 128
Re: Old picture date?

Very informative and interesting stuff
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