07 February 2015

Tintype Collection

Tintypes were a very early type of photo taken primarily in the 1860s and 70s created by covering a thin piece of dark iron with one of many types of photo-sensitive chemicals, then exposing it to the light.  I rarely find these in antique shops, but when I do it is quite exciting!  Here are the tintypes I have in my collection...


This tintype of a young girl comes from an antique mall in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  To me the most interesting thing to note is her obvious bedhead, for which I have no explanation.  Going to the photo studio would have been a momentous occasion for which you would dress very nice and style your hair.  One of my favourites nonetheless!

The photo is very small, less than two inches wide and maybe two inches tall.  It came in an intricate embossed paper frame and lists a photographer's studio in Illinois on the back.



This photo of a young boy is much larger than our Lady with Bedhead, about two inches wide and slightly less than four inches tall.  I will try to get a better scan at some point, because the original has a very pretty sepia tone to it.  Unfortunately, there was no studio information with this photo.

Two interesting things: the painted backdrop was quite popular for photography at this time.  Also, you can see the base of some kind of stand behind the boy's feet.  This may be a stand used to help photography subjects stand still during very long exposure times for this type of photo!



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