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However, don't rely completely on this information, as it could have been erroneously written on the back by later relatives who thought they knew the date.

Just as national and international news items appear in family images through our ancestors' participation in them, local events usually figure prominently in turn-of-the-century collections.

The existence of a postmark on the back of a photographic postcard is another unambiguous indication of the date of an image.

You need to research every photographic clue and follow the leads to uncover the truth that is usually hidden in the elements of the photograph. Photographs offer many clues about ancestral lives, if you know what to look for. Then, using a magnifying glass, sweep across the image making notes of any details.

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.

Puffs were worn bigger in the evenings with thin ringlets coming out of the bun at times.

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.


  1. Image Content. ▫ Clothes and personal styles. ▫ Studio settings and props. ALL clues should be used together to arrive at the most accurate date possible.

  2. Will dating my old photograph help me to decide who the subject is? Yes, an. photographer's name; photographer's address/s; hairstyles; clothes and fashion.

  3. Use these tips to help date photographs and unlock the stories they tell. Details such as clothing, hats, shoes, and hairstyles can help you establish a.

  4. You can now make an attempt to date the photograph from the design on the. top and the woman has a down to the ground wide dress and her ears cannot be.

  5. Dating a photograph requires you to use your best genealogical research techniques. In addition, clothing, photographer's imprints and even the photographic.

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