Dating old photographs clothing
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There is much more to successfully dating old photographs than just looking at the subjects and guessing the approximate age based on their clothing styles.
We provide a great deal of information of value in learning to identify and date old photographs, and have even more information and resources available for subscribers.
This part of the site is continuously developing, as we complete new research and find new information.
Currently, I have approximately 3,500 dated images -- but they span the first 111 years of photography, 1839 to 1949. These pages include a lot of specific guidelines -- particular characteristics are observed between specific years in our collection. You should find two or three or more characteristics that all support the particular date or date-range you assign to an image - preferably at least one from the image itself and one from the case, card mount, or mat if it is mounted.
If you find evidence that suggests conflicting dates, be sure the time-span you choose has the stronger supporting evidence.
Clothing styles are important, but the image itself is only part of the story.
While their hair would not be short, the type of bun, bangs or no bangs can provide hints to the age of the photograph.
Men’s hair styles and facial hair is not as easy to decipher the photos age.
The clothing can also be an indicator in the age of a picture, women whether they lived in the country or the city for most photographs would be wearing the latest fashions.
If you’re hitting a brick wall when it comes to identifying family members in old photos from the Victorian era, you’re not alone.
Even the most seasoned family historian will run into this headscratcher from time to time as Victorian fashions throughout the time period can look very similar to the untrained eye. Every fashionable gentleman could be seen wearing narrowly tailored sack suits during the 1870s.
This was especially true in the 1840s when men’s clothing offered tightly tailored coats and trousers. What to look for: Single-breasted, semi-fitted coats falling to mid-thigh. Older gentlemen still wore frock coats, but younger conservative men would sometimes do so, as well.