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

Determining gender by hair part

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Old 09-03-2002, 07:34 AM
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winwintoo winwintoo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 942
Thanks for the link Tom and the name of the book about dating clothing - I will look them up and try to date some of the cards that I have - I got the cards at an antique store, so I don't really need to know, but I have an inquiring mind....

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Old 10-21-2004, 12:21 AM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 219
Dating cabinet cards

As a genealogist with access to 19th century family photos, I have developed quite an interest in this subject. In addition to the two books mentioned above, I have found researching the photographer, (when possible), to be very helpful. I am sorry that I don't have the exact title of one book that lists most of the early photographers, especially west of the Mississippi. This was a large book I found in the Photography section of a public library.

City directories will help pin down a time period as well, especially when the address of the studio is listed. However, if you run across an F. J. Haynes, don't assume your subject was in St. Paul, Minnesota. F. J. Haynes outfitted a railroad car as a darkroom and studio and went anywhere the Northern Pacific Railroad went. I have several examples of his photos in my family, all known to be living in Montana, Idaho and Washington.
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Old 10-21-2004, 06:46 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
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Hi Mary Lynn,

Welcome to RP. I see you're using some of your genealogy techniques to date photographs. I dabble in genealogy myself, but didn't even consider the city directories for dating photos. Excellent tip! Thanks for sharing.

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Old 10-22-2004, 12:10 AM
MaryLynn MaryLynn is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 219
Dating Photos

You're welcome Ed. I've been able to confirm or eliminate "suspects" by researching the photographer. I followed one man with a very common name from his immigration in 1871 to death in 1913 but could not locate him in 1900 census.

His great grandson had a photo of six men, all unidentified, taken by a photographer from Salt Lake City. Research of the photographer gave me a window of 1899-1902. I finally found my gentleman in southwest Idaho in the 1900 census, a long ways from where I expected to find him but only a short distance from Salt Lake City. Besides having a very common name, it was misspelled on the census index. The photo information helps confirm that he was in that place and is one of the six men.

Now, if I can learn to handle layers and gradients for restoring photos as well as I can find people in the census indexes and city directories, life will be good!

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