Dating old photographs 1850

Perhaps buildings were workplaces, churches, schools, houses, farms or shops associated with your ancestors?Trade and occupation photos can often lead you to identify the actual building, for example a shop in the High Street.In photographs Victorians always look stern and unsmiling.This was due to the long exposure times needed, the clamps holding their heads still, as well as the poor condition of most people’s teeth!A style of photograph first introduced in 1863 by Windsor & Bridge in London, the cabinet card is a photographic print mounted on card stock.The Cabinet card got its name from its suitability for display in parlors -- especially in cabinets -- and was a popular medium for family portraits.Assembling a series of pictures of one person and seeing who is with them in each one and correlating with known family information, can be a helpful technique.

The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012.

It is an excerpt from their course English: Education, Health and Contemporary Documents by Dr. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Your illustrations, whether photographs or other materials need to be identified.

Photographers used the reverse of cartes de visites and cabinet prints to advertise their businesses, their name and address could be close to your ancestor’s home, or perhaps where they were visiting on holiday or with relatives.

In the 1870s it became usual to have the studio name on the front also, and from the 1880s this may be embossed.

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