Dating nineteenth century photographs
By the 1880s, the quality of cameras and papers for printing had improved, and many cabinet cards of the 1880s and 1890s look like artwork. Cabinet cards first appeared in 1866 and were most popular between 1874-1900. Once you learn the type of photo you’re looking at, you can narrow down or approximate a date.Making a digital version of treasures like this is a great way to preserve it for the future.
The print is often the name of the photographer or the location, which can help in dating the photo.Scanning is a common method of preserving a photo because it creates the sharpest and clearest image, but taking a picture of your old photo is another option.For a 4×6 size photo, scanning at 300 dpi is common, but if you want to enlarge the photo, or if the original is smaller than 4×6, scanning at 600 dpi (or even 1200 dpi) is recommended.If they aren’t already dated, there are a few clues and tips you can use to approximate a date.Dating photos can sometimes even help you figure out who is in the photo.The image was sharp and shiny and appeared to be floating.
It was only viewable at an angle, a little bit like a negative.
Carte de visites ushered in the family photo album, too!
Thinner pictures and more of them meant you could collect pictures of family members.
Daguerrotypes are always encased as there are many layers– including a mat and glass –to create this type of photo, which is essentially a mirror with an image on it.
The average size for a daguerrotype was 2 5/8″ x 3 1/4″.
During the first 50 or 60 years of photography, photos looked very different– very different from each other, and definitely very different than they look today.