Dating victorian photographs

19 Jul

A close rival in popularity to the photo posts is Useful Tips for Reading Handwritten Documents which became a long list of tips and tricks generated by comments from you and from State Records staff.It got us thinking…we create a similar list of useful tips for dating photographs?This was especially true in the 1840s when men’s clothing offered tightly tailored coats and trousers. What to look for: Single-breasted, semi-fitted coats falling to mid-thigh. Older gentlemen still wore frock coats, but younger conservative men would sometimes do so, as well. In the early 1840s, shirts contained high straight collars with thin cravats worn in a bow tie style. 1850s men’s fashion was still considered formal, but clothing was looser, less tailored and made a statement with embellishments. Shirt collars were still worn high and starched with tips turned down into wings during the earlier part of the 1890s.

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Sometimes images from this period can be identified by a greenish cast.

If you’re hitting a brick wall when it comes to identifying family members in old photos from the Victorian era, you’re not alone.

Even the most seasoned family historian will run into this headscratcher from time to time as Victorian fashions throughout the time period can look very similar to the untrained eye. Every fashionable gentleman could be seen wearing narrowly tailored sack suits during the 1870s.

Both were most often albumen prints, the primary difference being the cabinet card was larger and usually included extensive logos and information on the reverse side of the card to advertise the photographer’s services.

However, later into its popularity, other types of papers began to replace the albumen process.