How to Date Your Old Photos

If you can see her ears it is the later s. Such cards usually have square corners. Men wore lounge suits with matching waistcoats by the middle of the decade. The ladies look like they are wearing heavy furnishing rather than dresses. The cardboard is thicker and stronger less flexible than a playing card and the printing on the back is typeset with fonts but usually one large word, and perhaps a border, and the rest small and coloured inks may be used and a logo may appear. The card may have rounded corners – mid to late s. These date from the s. Some still show full length and a carpet in the early s. Norfolk jackets were popular as were more casual clothes. Ladies wore tight fitting jackets, high white collars or ruffs a brooch at the neck, lots of buttons in rows, tight fitting sleeves, odd little hats, hair plain or curls usually pulled back.

Dating Old Photographs

It is best to call ahead or check with organizer’s websites to verify the status of any local event. Learn basic tips on dating your family photographs taken between – By the end of the session you’ll have the tools and confidence to help you with sorting through your photographs. Learn more about your Victorian female ancestors through this talk on women’s fashions.

Contrary to what you might believe, this was a vibrant period for women’s fashion, full of colour and the most incredible shapes with equally amazing underwear!

Ideally we should consider all these criteria when considering the clothing of family members as seen in old photographs. For dating purposes.

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Family photos: what are they wearing?

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you agree to our cookie policy. Welcome to the fifth in our series of blogs about how to understand and interpret your old family photos. In this series, Jayne Shrimpton, internationally recognised dress historian, portrait specialist, photo detective and regular contributor to Family Tree, Your Family History and Family History Monthly magazines, dates and analyses different types of photographs and helps you to add context to your old family pictures.

Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs.

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Hats from Provides vintage photograph restoration, books, and photo dating tips to genealogists and historians. If you have a box of unlabeled photographs in your basement or attic, you aren’t alone. Most families pass down photos that aren’t labeled, and it takes a Have you ever considered using Pinterest for your Genealogy and family history research? I started using Pinterest for my family’s

Top 10 Resources for Dating Old Photographs

Being able to determine the approximate date and time of photographs may confirm existing research or lead you to discover new ancestors in your family tree. Betty has selected a handful of beautiful photos submitted by our community members and has provided her insights below to help color in the story of their ancestors. I would date this picture about because of the huge circumference of the hat.

Hover over these three examples for dating your ancestry through clothing and a photo is due to date them. Old photographs? Includes: from.

Commercial portrait photography began in the s and old family photographs can portray ancestors from the early-Victorian era onwards. Many historic photos surviving today are undated and unidentified and we can use various methods to work out their time period:. This can help, but studio data may be elusive, patchy or too broad to pinpoint a close date for a given photograph. All available evidence should be considered, but often most useful for accurate photo dating are the picture clues, especially the fashions worn by their subjects: clothes, accessories and hairstyles.

Victorian dress styles were complex, determined by age, status and location: fashion also accelerated between the s and s. Here is a brief guide to the main trends. Gentlemen generally wore a slender frock coat with deep V-fronted waistcoat, broad black cravat and tall top hat often removed for photographs , while working men might favour looser jackets and trousers, low-crowned caps and a narrow neck tie or neckerchief.

Menswear grew easier-fitting in the later s, and mature men often adopted the newly-fashionable beard, grown from the sideburns beneath the chin. Hair was sleek, typically drawn down low over the ears; sometimes outdoor bonnets and shawls or short wide jackets were worn for mid-century photographs. Photographs, more numerous from the s, reflect changing fashions of the decade.

Gentlemen retained formal frock coats and top hats but many adopted loose lounging jackets and contrasting trousers, with the new round-crowned bowler hat.

Tinder, the Fast-Growing Dating App, Taps an Age-Old Truth

Introduction : Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary searches old newspapers and historical books to show how illustrations of fashion trends in hats can help you date an undated family photograph in your collection. One of the points I made in that article was that if you can find a newspaper advertisement that matches a hat found in an old photograph, use the newspaper to establish the time period that photo might have been taken.

This is an important determination, as it can eliminate relatives not from that time period as possible candidates for the people in the photo. Photographs published in newspapers can be used to study early fashion trends—but only after

For example, if a certain style of hat or coat didn’t appear in fashion magazines until , you know the image was taken after then. What props and background.

When photographs are passed down through generations of families, sometimes the stories of the people in the images become fragmented or lost. If you find yourself with a collection of photographs that lack contextual information, there are a number of clues you can look out for. The most effective way to date photographs is to combine historical analysis with knowledge of different photography techniques and materials through time. Here at The National Archives, we have teams who specialise in both areas and in this blog, Visual Collections Researcher Katherine Howells and Conservator of photographs and paper Ioannis Vasallos share their tips.

You can also look out for handwritten notes on the back of the photograph such as names, events or locations. Look also at sleeves — is there a puff at the shoulder? And hairstyles — consider the parting, fringe and accessories. There are plenty of online resources on the history of fashion which can assist you in identifying the different elements. The presence of an individual in uniform can make the process of dating the photograph easier.

Dating old wedding photographs

Scotts Valley Butler Ln. Hover over these three examples for dating your ancestry through clothing and a photo is due to date them. Old photographs?

of young people reflect contemporary styles.

Here are several sites that can help you put your aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on the right branches of your family tree. Here are some places where you can pick up a few style cues to help you ID your own vintage family photographs! Wikipedia The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia provides a nicely detailed collection of articles about the many eras of clothing fashion. Here are direct links to the sections dedicated to the time since photography was possible: s s s s s s s s s s — — s.

Flickr collections by era These contributed photographs are grouped by decade, and the multitude of images will provide you with a helpful frame of reference to compare your vintage photos. Topics include evening attire, fashion accessories and even bathing costumes and undergarments. Vintage hairstyles A look at how women wore their hair in eras past, illustrated with photos of modern recreations. Also see some sketches of vintage hairstyles here.

If I needed more data points, other style cues I could research would be the fit of the dresses, the hairstyles, and their jewelry. By way of example, your relative might have been a trendsetter… or perhaps she cared little about fashion and was always a few years behind. Nancy Price. View All. Tags ancestry antique clothes clothing family history family trees genealogy hobbies photography vintage.

Dating old photographs

Swapping out their rubber sandals for stiletto heels, they smeared on globs of lip gloss and flung on leather jackets. After a second wardrobe change, they were ready for their appointments at a modeling agency on the ground floor. Same people: two very different personas. A short elevator ride later, as I sat in on a meeting with a group of Tinder executives, it became clear that the quick-change act I had just witnessed downstairs, though unrelated to Tinder, still had a lot to do with what was going on upstairs.

What someone wears, along with other visual clues given off in photographs, can tell a thousand different things about them.

Learn tips for how to date old family photos. Part I of And, of course, the hairstyle and clothing of the photographic subjects provide even more.

I’m just now starting to archive all the photos my Mom has. Most of the ones we are doing now are the real old ones—her family photos and my Dad’s family photos. The problem is she can’t always narrow down the date enough to come up with a year. So that’s causing me to have a lot of photos with ’19xx-xx-xx’ as the date. There aren’t really any other family members who will know the answer so I doubt if the dates will ever be completed. Any suggestions as to how to handle situations like this so I don’t have a long list of ’19xx’ photos?

Patty, you are certainly not alone. I would suspect that most family photo collections have a considerable amount of paper prints that weren’t dated or even captioned. Back then, it was probably so easy to think you would always be around to tell someone anything they wanted to know about your photos. But, now we know that simply isn’t the case.

Important people’s memories fade over time, forgetting these fine and seemingly unimportant details.

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