Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Daguerreotypes and tintypes

I think this might be a tintype in a daguerreotype box as the photo does not disappear when you tip it. I don't know who this is. Mom may have notes somewhere identifying him. Not sure but he is obviously a Civil War soldier.

The daguerreotype boxes were lovely. Daguerreotypes are easily damaged from oxidation from the air and also fingerprints, thus were kept in airtight boxes under glass.

This is a double daguerreotype but I don't know of whom. Mom was very good at labeling many photos but not these. I had a hard time photographing it as the images disappear with any bit of light on them. I went into a closet but all I could see was myself mirrored back. Finally I took the photo at an angle.

Jacques Daguerre is thought of as having invented this photographic method in the 1830's which creates an image on a copper plate via an amalgam of mercury and silver. When I read about the method my eyes cross and my brain gets mucked up so I refer you to the wikipedia article which frankly I don't think is that well written.

Unidentified young girl, a tintype in a paper folder. A tintype was easier to make than a daguerreotype and thus became a popular way to obtain family photos. The photo was made by creating a direct positive on a sheet of metal. Check here for more details.

Tiny tintypes. From the Hull family.

My great-great grandmother. A tintype cut rather sloppily. The tintypes also must be kept in the dark ( this is my understanding anyway). The picture can chip off with rough handling.

19 comments:

Mary said...

i love all these old pictures that they had to sit still for. some times i think they had to sit still for 10 minutes. no wonder they look grumpy ;-)

we have a bunch of these in our families, too--some labeled and some not. funny thinking about them--especially the children--that grew old and are now long gone...

thanks for sharing these...

and don't forget to join my recycled art challenge tomorrow--you have tons of pieces that qualify--just post a link to a blog post or whatever! see ya ;-)

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

These are cool. I love the one you put in your heading. Fun to go thru old things.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What treasures.

Lynn said...

How interesting. I wonder if I have any of these...I do have lots of old old family photos but think none of them disappear in the light...so perhaps they are not this type. Just old. Yours are lovely!!! I love the boxes.

layers said...

what a rich family history yet so fragile as well because of the fragility of the tintypes-- treasures to keep safe

Teri C said...

What a wonderfully interesting post!

Mim said...

Fantastic images, love your grandma

Annie said...

These are wonderful Suki. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

kikipotamus said...

Oh wow, these are so cool. I've only seen one tin type up close, that was when I used to visit an elderly neighbour when I was a little girl. She would show me her porcelain dolls, tin types and all sorts of things.

Marion said...

I once had a whole pile of these wonderful old photos. Unfortunately, I lost them to my ex-husband during divorce. I miss them more than I ever did the ex-husband.

I got very attached to them, since they'd hung on my entry way wall for many years. There were two very young children who were adorable, then a couple of the two in their early teens. I understand they died in early adulthood in a farm accident.

I love the history behind these. You have some beauties here, Suki, and thank you for sending me some old photos...great inspiration!

parisdreamtime said...

Love those picture too, especially the one in your header, and the frames make them even more precious. So interesting to see what clothes people wore and how they looked. Thanks for sharing these precious treasures. The box is awsome too. Wow. Love your treasure box!
Andrea

Cat said...

these are just fantastic! what a treasure to have! tintypes and the old dags...wow, just wonderful pieces of photographic art!

I love visiting your blog!

Kim said...

Wow Suki! Some of your family members look like some of mine! :-) Isn't it funny how similar they can appear when they wear the same dark clothing and pull their hair back tight or have beards? I have never seen a daguerreotype or tintype in person and these are really interesting. You have so many old treasures!

Thank you so much for sharing and educating us.

Lovey said...

Such beauty in these images of old...love them!

sukipoet said...

Thanks everyone. Did you note the book in the hand of the header girl? I wonder what it was but think most likely a Bible.

ArtistUnplugged said...

Love old photos, especially family photos. Thank you for sharing these.

Tamanna A. Shaikh said...

I love the vintage feel that goes with these!

patti said...

Photography must have been such an incredible and magical invention to them back then. We tend to take it for granted nowadays.

I'm back blogging again Suki - I couldn't stay away!

willow said...

Suki, how did I miss this thrilling post? I am ga-ga over tin type photos! Yours are gorgeous. What a fantastic family treasure. Love the new header!