Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tintypes

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?


37 comments:

  1. I wish there were. What a great find!

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  2. Not a one. These are great. Do I see a collection being formed? :)

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  3. Why yes Nancy....I think a collection might just be being formed! lol

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  4. Farmchick -- tintypes are fun to collect. Perhaps you should consider going back to buy the rest. -- barbara

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  5. I love your old photos! I'm glad they have a good home. When I see photos like them I always wonder about the people in them. :) We only have one tintype in our family- one of my great grandfather.

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  6. none that i know of. very cool, tho!

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  7. Love those,I too think it would be a great hobby to collect them. I love the way people posed for photos in the old days!!

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  8. Tintypes are something I didn't know about. I don't have photographic roots at all, although I have got a circular photograph of my Mother when she was 14 on a postcard. It may have some special effect on it, but it reminds me that times were hard in the early 20th century.

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  9. They never smile in the photos! nice idea for a collection. We have some very old photos of Howards side of the family but don't think they are taken like that.

    Jan

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  10. These are fantastic! I have a lot of old black and whites, but I don't think any tin types.

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  11. We have a few in the family..the problem is locating them.
    (Aunt A gave them to Aunt B, who sent them to Uncle C).
    They are fascinating.

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  12. No, no tin types that I know of...lots of old photographs though. What a treasure for you to find. I always wonder and think about the people and their lives in these photos. Why they are at antique store...didn't they have family? But then now YOU will enjoy them.

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  13. awesome finds...no I wish we did though....

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  14. No, but I'm a sucker for any old black and whites, showing another place and time.

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  15. I have a unusual picture of my grandparents and posted it on my blog so you can take a look:)

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  16. I haven't run across tintypes, but my forebearers were so broke that they couldn't afford them. We do have other, more recent, old photos from the turn of the century.

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  17. I do have quite a few very old family photos, including my great-g grandfather who was a Confederate officer in the Civil War and his parents also. Also another great-g grandfather who was a musician in the Union army (from Vermont), a Welsh immigrant. Unfortunately, some of the old photos have nothing written on them to identify them. I guess that is why so many old pictures end up in antique malls!

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  18. Photography of my great grandparents wedding in Germany in 1856.... but no tintypes. Darn. :)

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  19. I think my parents have one tintype. It's been so long now since I've seen it that I don't even remember what ancestor is on it! ha. Yes, they are very cool!

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  20. I can remember my granddad wearing an ancient Carabinieri uniform, taken in a studio around 1910... I have to ask mom, she is the keeper of the family old photos box.

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  21. How interesting a mean to measure time and life !

    A couple of pictures from family of my grantparents back in Russia are left. Thank you for the memories. Please have you all a good Sunday.

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  22. No really old photos, just a few from the late 1800s. You have some wonderful old photos.

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  23. No really old photos, just a few from the late 1800s. You have some wonderful old photos.

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  24. There sure are, especially on my mom's side. She traces her roots back to one of the Mayflower passengers and her family tree includes many prominent New Englanders. How she ever ended up with Dad who hails from a long line of Ohio and Missouri rednecks is beyond me.

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  25. nope no tintypes... never really heard of them before today ;-) But your old pics look great!

    Thanks for sharing
    Leontien

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  26. What a wonderful find! I do have a few tintypes that were my paternal grandmother's. Sadly I don't know who the people are on them.

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  27. We have a couple that I know of. I have copies of them, one of my cousins has the originals. They were of my great grandparents probably taken in the late 1800s and one taken around 1924 of grandma's kids sitting on the running board of a car.

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  28. I have never heard of Tinytypes and don't think I would know it if I saw one, but now I'll look for them....really neat!

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  29. Every time I see an old photograph like that, I want to know who they are and what their story is. Love them!

    www.thisfarmfamilyslife.blogspot.com

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  30. No tintypes for me, love your pics... So old and so charming!! Lucky you to have these gems:)
    Have a great Sunday:)

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  31. Found a couple of small photos that appear to be on glass...no tintypes! However, I couldn't tell who the people were, not sure they're ancestors. Your tintypes are beautiful, I like that people dressed up to take photos! Looking at the very pretty lady with the cinched waist made me gasp for breath! So happy I never had to do that!

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  32. Lots of great old photos but not any tintypes. I like them though; this is an interesting post. : )

    ~Andrea~

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  33. No tintypes around here either, but some photos so old and yellowed that they almost could be. And no smiling faces in any of the old photos I have either. I guess if you had to crawl into a corset like that one, it would be difficult to smile while holding your breath ...

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  34. Thanks for the beautiful photos !!!

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  35. We have some tintypes, a couple of Daguerrotypes (harder to preserve) and some albumin prints. One of my favorite albumins is of my great-grandmother and her sister on their college graduation day in 1895. They had matching dresses dripping in ruffles and lace, and they had to have been just roasting in them! (And naturally, as young ladies of fashion and breeding, they were tightlaced. My great-grandmother had an 18-inch waist when corseted.)

    Kodak published a seminal book on the subject of early photography entitled _Care and Identification of 19th Century Photographic Prints_. It's quite expensive because it's out of print, although authoritative on both identifcation and care of the various photographic media of the era.

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  36. I have a Ferrotype similar to yours by the same photographer of a young lady...same style of card.

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