There were several photo techniques used in the mid- and late-1800s, some of the most common include: Daguerreotypes This first successful photo process is attributed to Louis Daguerre.
The image is on a silver clad copper sheet which was then sealed inside a wooden case or a frame under glass to protect it.
What to look for: Shorter hair, pulled back from the sides pulled on top of the head or curled into ringlets.
Shorter bangs were sometimes cut for an extra feminine touch and ears were shown.
Knowing how to identify Victorian era female hairstyles can be one of the most surefire ways of dating old family photos. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons In the 1850s, photography was still considered a new technology.
Remember, however, that the descriptions below are generalities and you very well could stumble upon exceptions to these rules. But as photo processes became more advanced and less expensive with the introduction of ambrotype portraits, women wanted to look more sophisticated in their photos.
What to look for: Hair parted down the center with hair drawn behind the years tightly into a bun worn at the back of the head, sometimes with lace, flowers, netting or arranged in braids and loops.
Based on its size and composition, I confirmed that my picture was a tintype, a photographic technique that came into use in the mid-1850s and lasted until the turn of the century. But it does help me rule out a pairing of Michael and Timothy.
Knowing the type of photo can still leave a large time period, but if you know the subject of the photo, your genealogical research should be able to help you narrow that. I now turn to fashion to see if what these men are wearing can help me narrow the date range of the photo.
What to look for: Full, and large hairstyles — this goes for long and short hair. Sausage curls and ringlets worn down or in pompadour style (back of hair pulled into a flat coil then drawn onto the crown of the head).
Have you stumbled upon these hairstyles while looking at old family photos? Now that you’re equipped with women’s Victorian era hairstyle knowledge, add those old family photos to your Crestleaf Family Tree!