Having a basic knowledge of paper is important for collectors and dealers. Many fakes and reprints are identified as the paper is too modern or the wrong type for the print to be an original. This following a brief look at some important types of paper throughout history. While the type and age of the paper can help determine the authenticity of a print, it is not in and of itself proof. Some forgers use old paper.
Many photos from the s have the developing date printed in the margin on the front of the print. Sometimes the date taken is not so obvious.
When we still used actual film in our cameras, many people did not get it developed right away. When only 4 or 5 photos were taken at an event, often the film contained several events before it was developed.
Remember the date on the back is the date developed. Some photos taken with digital cameras and then printed may have date stamps on the front of the printed or digital photo.
Take this date with a grain of salt. Just like the blinking clock on a VCR, many people never correctly set the date on their camera.
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Be careful. That date stamp may not be correct.
Look at the size, shape, and paper of the photo itself. Major developers like Kodak have changed their style over the years and these can be a great clue to the era in which a photo was developed. Here are some online resources that you can use to identify the age of a print by its type and paper among other characteristics. Film Formats and Sizes. History of Evolution of Kodak Logo.
Ektacolor Paper Backprint Chronology. Several physical clues point to a date of the s for this photo - the deckled scalloped edges, the Kodak Velox paper and the fact that it came bound in a small spiral-bound book from the developer hanging chad on the side. Slides will also have a date stamped on the paper or plastic mount. But remember that this is the developing date, not the date the photo was taken.
Date stamps on slides vary by date, film type, and developer.
How To Date Photographs
If your photos are in the original developing envelope, check it for dates. This will give you a time when the photo was developed.
It may even have an address or phone number of your family member on it which could aid your search. Count the candles on a birthday cake. Counting candles on the cake can help. Eight candles on the left for the girl on the left and five candles on the right.
Use a magnifying glass to look for anything in the background that may give clues to the date.
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Some ideas are:. The calendar in the background leads us to the conclusion that this photo was taken in Is that Walter Cronkite in the background? You could google a picture of him and guesstimate the time period. Zoom in and look for any hand-written notes, such as the label on a cradle in a hospital nursery. Kitchen calendars with just the month and day can help and I have used Google to find the year that it could have been. Look at the shape of a door, the finish on the house, the type of porch, the style of windows to match an unknown photo with a known photo or to fit into a known chronology.
To date this photo, one could google Gulf gas pumps and logos to find the general time period. If you knew the location of this store, you could try to find out the dates the store was in business.
Dating photographic paper exact
Construction and restoration of major buildings and monuments can give you a time frame in which the photo was taken. Skylines with missing landmark skyscrapers could give hints to date. I have also googled what football teams played each other on a certain date. Hairstyles and clothing can help identify the approximate date of a photo.
This photo of the King brothers is a tintype probably taken circa You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go. A variety of websites offer tips and tools, and they have the great advantage of being able to provide visual aids.
They may not give you a specific date, but they may help your general chronology. These are good details to add to your family timeline. That will usually help you find the year, if not the month and day too. Also, house pictures can be dated by sizes of the trees.
For premium quality photography paper and a wide range of photography products, take a look at the extensive product range at Ilford Photo today. Feb 10, A paper print from the s or s has to be on laid paper. Wove paper: About , wove paper was invented. Wove paper is made on a finely woven mesh, so the paper does not have the rigid lines pattern of laid paper. Laid and wove paper are easily differentiated when held to the light. The photographic paper backprinting project began in June, , and stemmed from an interest in documenting manufacturer applied markings while also providing a broad method for dating photographic prints with such markings. Marking presented on this .
Birthday party invitations with a specific theme like Spiderman or roller skating can give you a date when paired with photos showing the same theme. Of course, if you have a family member or two that you can ask about dates, locations, and stories, they may be your most valuable resource. Identifying Photographs Timeline. What is That? Photo paper with branding can be dated to a general or specific time as the text and graphic design was changed regularly by the manufacturers.
This is particularly important when you are looking at a modern photo, where the image and paper difference between a photo and a reprint may not be obvious. There are way too many brandings to be listed and discussed here. It would take a book to catalog and date all the brandings ever used.
You should keep a notebook or digital image file of the different brandings you come across. This includes brandings on all the recent photos you have.
You can be assured that the branding on the back of last years's wedding photo will not appear on a vintage Willie Mays photo. By observing today's brandings, you will be able to quickly identify many modern reprints. If you have a photo that is advertised as being fromthe presence of this branding doesn't prove the specific year of but is consistent with the date. The zip code in the photo stamp can identify many photos printed years after the image was shot.
Many photographers and publishers included their mailing address in the photo stamp. If a stamp has an address with a 5 digit United States zip code, the stamp dates to or later. The United States changed the zip code from 2 to 5 digits in The stamp shown on the right is on a photo showing the Irish writer James Joyce in The five digit zip code clearly shows that the photo was printed many years after the image was shot.
Two young men stare out at me from a small old photograph. On the back, in my grandmother's handwriting, is written "Grandpa King's brothers. At least I've got some information to work with, but I'm eager to learn more: When was the picture taken?
Which two of my great-grandfather's brothers are these? Michael and Peter? Peter and Timothy? Michael and Timothy?
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Time to log on to the computer! See also: Safely store, display your old family photographs. You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go.
A variety of websites offer tips and tools, and they have the great advantage of being able to provide visual aids.
May 26, The discovery that an analysis of the base paper for photographic prints held potential for the dating of 20th Century photographic papers also owes to work performed on questioned Man Ray and Lewis Hine photographs. In the case of Man Ray, this work was performed by the Felix Schoeller Company in Schoeller, an. Photo Paper Branding. Some photographic paper has the manufacturer's brand name printed on the back. Knowledge and study of the different brandings is useful in dating photo paper. The manufacturer's branding is that wallpaper-like printing across the back of a photo. This paper presents an overview of techniques and resources for dating fiber-based, gelatin silver photographic paper. This review encompasses some well known practices based on optical Author: Paul Messier.
To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J. Morris and Robert Vaughn. Both websites detail the history of photography, including samples of various types of photography, such as daguerreotype, cabinet card and tintype.
Another extensive online resource is the Library of Congress. Enter a photo type into its search engine and you will see many examples that may turn out to be similar to the photograph you are researching. Based on its size and composition, I confirmed that my picture was a tintype, a photographic technique that came into use in the mids and lasted until the turn of the century.
Dating photographic paper
Knowing the type of photo can still leave a large time period, but if you know the subject of the photo, your genealogical research should be able to help you narrow that. When was the subject born?
Did he live in a city or a small town? What work did he do? Both the men in my photo are young, but one appears to be older than the other, and he has arm slung around his younger brother's shoulders.
Other articles where Velox is discussed: Leo Baekeland: company to manufacture his invention, Velox, a photographic paper that could be developed under artificial light. Velox was the first commercially successful photographic paper. In Baekeland sold his company and rights to the paper to the U.S. inventor George Eastman for $1, Aug 13, Look at the size, shape, and paper of the photo itself. Major developers like Kodak have changed their style over the years and these can be a great clue to the era in which a photo was developed. Here are some online resources that you can use to identify the age of a print by its type and paper among other characteristics. A modern-day photograph of an Icelandic landscape, captured on a personal camera. A photograph (also known as a photo) is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a.
Both are holding cigars. The elder is wearing a watch chain and a pinky ring. Sadly, the age difference doesn't help me much. Michael was seven years older than Peter, who was seven years older than Timothy.
But it does help me rule out a pairing of Michael and Timothy. I now turn to fashion to see if what these men are wearing can help me narrow the date range of the photo. Close examination of sleeves and collars can provide valuable information.