Methods of dating photographs

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Wealthy subjects had many fashionable ensembles to choose from, whereas ordinary working-class ancestors usually donned their best outfit, kept for church on Sundays and special occasions.

Everyone wished to create a good impression in the treasured photographs that would later be shown to family and friends and might be displayed in an album, or hung on the wall.

Maybe that senior citizen down at the hair salon can be of help if you don’t have a sense of historic styles, and of course there is always the Internet.

Just type in “hat styles of the 1930s, or 1940s,” or whatever year you can guess and then compare what you have to what was popular at the time.

Lastly, while none of these individuals are identified either on the image or on the back—where people often wrote the names of those in the photograph—if one looks through his or her family archive very carefully one can often find additional photographs of the same people who might in that instance be identified.

Once obtained, such dating and potential identification can now accompany these images as they are placed in the appropriate archival album pages, sleeves, boxes and frames.

Fashion in photographs It was understood that clients visiting the photographer's studio (or, less commonly, those inviting a photographer to their home) would be dressed in their best quality, most fashionable clothing.So, now I’m really ready to jump into the intricate identification, dating and, most importantly, the CORRECT archival presentation and storage options that each different media type needs and demands.Its taken five blogs to get here, but all is well, as “setting the stage” is gigantically important as everything else falls into place so much more easily when one gets his or her act together (I’m still workin’ on that, folks, but I’m gettin’ there). Got a particularly challenging archival / preservation / presentation / organizational / storage nut that just won’t crack?I have inherited over a dozen photo albums just like this, and it gets even better as all the photographs inside are each captioned by hand in white ink.Who’s who, what’s what, and when’s when are all painstakingly recorded within these covers, which allows them to be used for other aspects related to tracking down my family’s history and dating photos.

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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