Dating of photograph
In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong.
For interested readers, I explain our measurement process, and how we collected our data, at the end of the post.
If all else fails, you can write “c.1940,” which is the abbreviation for “circa 1940,” which is fancy art history speak for “around 1940.” Voilà, you’re an art historian. But seriously folks, the following are some easy dating references commonly found on photographs and other media, and more information can be found at the Image Permanence Institute’s Graphics Atlas website, perhaps the most comprehensive resource out there for identifying and dating photos, by clicking Note the dates, subjects and locations indicated on various elements of this particular box of 35mm color slides.
Also notice that there is no chicken wing sauce on any of these irreplaceable artifacts (see Blog #3). This is another example of why it is recommended that original boxes and envelopes be kept, as they often offer a wealth of information.
Perhaps you’ve seen them in an archival collection or museum, or seen modern reproductions at a Civil War reenactment. Wherever you may have encountered them, know that archivists in the MARAC region could not have a better guide to the fascinating world of 19 century portrait photographs than Gary Saretzky, archivist in the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office in Manalapan, New Jersey.
Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visites (now commonly called cdvs), and cabinet cards.
We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle—indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place — so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again.
from the camera is the single worst attitude a woman can take.Despite the similarity, the cabinet card format was initially used for landscape views before it was adopted for portraiture.Some cabinet card images from the 1890s have the appearance of a black-and-white photograph in contrast to the distinctive sepia toning notable in the albumen print process.The goods ranged from perfumes and cosmetics to cigar lights, wax tapers, playing cards and photographs, namely ambrotypes, cdvs, tintypes, and daguerreotypes.Photographers were required to affix these “tax stamps” – which for photos could have added a hefty 10% tax or more to the retail cost of photos priced up to 25 cents – to the back of commercial photos and also to hand-cancel them.