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Dating Old Photos
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NOTICE: A greatly expanded and PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED version of this material is being prepared as an ebook - watch this space for availability announcements.

Dating Images Through Their Content

Apparently, many people think this should be sufficient -- that there is no need to copy images in color, or show the cardstock or photographers imprints, and certainly never bother with the back side of the card or print. You can tell how old it is just by looking at the clothing styles can't you?

Go to almost any genealogy site, and 90% of the photos are black and white, and do not include any extraneous features that might tell us who the photographer was or other dating, locational and identification clues. Sometimes they have enough clues to estimate an approximate date, but our confidence in a particular date or date range would be enhanced with more complete copies of the original object.

Let me repeat what I have oft stated before -- no single dating clue should be relied upon to date an image, always look for at least two and preferably several clues that point to the same time period before assigning a date to an image. There are always exceptions and caveats to any guideline we can formulate for dating a picture.

  • Artifacts - Material Cultural Items
  • Boy's Clothing
  • Girl's Clothing
  • Men's Clothing
  • Women's Clothing 1840s
  • Women's Clothing 1850s
  • Women's Clothing 1860s
  • Women's Clothing 1870s
  • Women's Clothing 1880s
  • Women's Clothing 1890s
  • Women's Clothing 1900s
  • Women's Clothing 1910s
  • Women's Clothing 1920s
  • Women's Clothing 1930s
  • Women's Clothing 1940s
  • Children's Hairstyles
  • Men's Hairstyles
  • Women's Hairstyles
  • Photographer Props
  • Posing Positions
  • Backgrounds

NOTICE: A greatly expanded and PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED version of this material is being prepared as an ebook - watch this space for availability announcements.





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