The thing that really draws me into photography is the way it captures a moment in time. I love looking at historic photographs and seeing the dress, mannerisms, and facial expression of the subjects. This week I was fortunate enough to run across some tintypes at my Smalltownland antique store.
There were quite a few to choose from in a new booth, but I selected just a handful of my favorites. I may have to go back.....
A tintype is a photographic process that involves a very underexposed negative image that is produced on an emulsion and mounted against a dark metal backing. This gives it the appearance of a positive image. Tintypes are also known as ferrotypes. Tintypes are not actually made of tin, but of iron. They were simple and fast to prepare and were offered by photographers at carnivals and street fairs. Patented in 1856, they remained popular until the end of the 19th century.
Here are two that I selected and I adore the expressions on the men's faces. The one on the left is a young man, perhaps maybe even The Deerslayer's age.
This woman is dresses to the, "nines", with earrings, a lace collar, and a waist so small I cannot even imagine wearing the corset that must have contained her.
However, this tiny photograph is my favorite find. It is a gem miniature tintype and these were made for lockets and other pieces of jewelry. It is of a young boy in a suit with some severe, slicked-back hair. The original label is on the back showing the photo being taken in Utica, New York, by a J.E. James. Noted on the label as being taken with the new invented camera and finished in only ten minutes.
Although I am fortunate to have old photographs that have been preserved in my family, there are no tintypes. I find them to be a rather romantic look at life portrayed years ago.
How about you? Any tintypes in your family treasures?