Tag Archives: old photos

Two Examples of Ambrotype Photographs

The second type of early photographs were ambrotype photos.  Ambrotypes look very similar to the later tintype photos.  An easy way to test them is to use a magnet – even through the case you can fell the attraction of the magnet with the iron used for the tintype.  The glass of the ambrotype feels no pull from the magnet.

An ambrotype was created on a piece of glass – and looked like a negative until a black background was added.  Begun about 1855, the earlier ambrotypes had the photograph on one piece of glass, with an additional piece of glass covered with a tar-like pitch.  About 1858 the varnish covers the back of the glass with the photo on front or sometimes a colored class was used.  In 1859 the clear glass has a black cloth at the back of the image.  I have one with the double glass and one with the black varnish on back of the photo.

This photograph of my 4th great-grandmother, Nancy Linton Edwards, was probably taken about 1855.  There are two pieces of glass in the case – one with the photo, and another with the black pitch on back.  Unfortunately, the glass containing the photograph was broken, but it still gives us a good idea of her features.  Nancy was the daughter of Captain John Linton and Ann Mason, born in Loudoun County, Virginia, in 1778.  She married Edward Barber Edwards, with whom she raised a large family.  On the way through the Cumberland Gap, from Virginia to Kentucky, her horse was spooked by a cougar or bobcat, causing her to fall and break her leg.  She traveled in a litter the rest of the way to Washington County, and never walked again.

Nancy’s cotton cap was used by older women during the 1850’s, younger women using a bonnet.  She wears the older fashions of the 1840’s.  Looking at her white hair, face and neck you could easily guess her age of about 77.  But look at her fingers – they look long and very elegant.  There is just a hint of color in her cheeks.

As you can tell from this photo, the scan is not generally good unless you remove the photograph from the case, but I wanted you to see the mat that is used with this photograph.  It is called a nonpareil mat, due to the shape, and was used between 1850 and 1859.  The preserver (around the edge) is still rather simple, but a little more decorative than with the daguerreotype photos.

The case is lined with red velvet and is decorated on front and back with the same design.  The case is 3 ¼ x 3 ¾.

This next ambrotype is a great photo of a youngish man with great hair and beard!  His collar and tie are from the 1850’s – as are the wide lapels of his coat and the overall larger look of the suit.  I believe this to be Edward Edwards Taylor, son of John Compton Taylor and Susan Clark Edwards, my 3rd great-grandparents.  Edward was a brother to my Catherine Elizabeth Taylor who married Edward Edwards Linton – a little confusing with those middle names!  This photo has only one piece of glass, with the varnish on back, so we can date this photo to about 1858.  In that year Edward, or ‘Ned’ as he was called, would have been 27 years of age.  Also, his ears look very much like those of his father, John Taylor.

The mat with this photo is oval, with much decoration.  The preserver, not shown in this photo, is also more decorated, with semi-reinforced corners.  The case is similar to Nancy Edwards’ case, but the photograph is smaller – 2 3/8 x 2 7/8.

Next up, tintypes!

1900 Photo of Family with Baby in Umbrella Stroller

Such a wonderful old photo to share with you today!  There is no name of photographer, or the couple and baby in this photo, but it is precious beyond saying!  Look at the old fashioned stroller, with umbrella to protect baby from the sun.  It is wicker, and very ornate, white lace and ruffles falling gently from the top of the umbrella.  The couple is not looking directly at the photographer, but has their eyes focused on their child! The mother wears a white blouse and skirt, and the father a suit and dapper hat.  A beautiful remembrance from a time long ago.

Old Photo from Logan City Utah

This is a great photo I share with you today.  Definitely from the 1870’s, the style of skirts and the man’s jacket, closely buttoned at the top, are more than enough clues to date it.  This style of dress is very beautiful, not quite the impression the huge skirts of the 1860’s made, but more ornate in detail and trims.  Both women wear fine gold necklaces, and the gentleman a gold watch chain.

Do you notice anything unusual in the photograph?  It seems that both woman are a bit possessive of the gentleman.  The hand on the shoulder, and one on the forearm speak volumes.

This photograph was taken by T. B. Cardon in Logan City, Utah.  I did just a bit of research on Logan City and found it is indeed inhabited by many Mormons, and is considered very conventional.  The town was founded in 1859 by settlers sent by Brigham Young to survey for the site of a fort by the Logan River.  Evidently a beautiful place to live, it is the home of Utah State University and has a ski areas close by.  Given that this photo was taken in Logan City, this three people could very well be Mormon, and be a man with his two wives.

I found a wonderful site with information on T. B. Cardon and his wife, Lucy Smith.  They were Mormon, and not only was he a photographer, but also a watch maker and jeweler.

Thomas B. Cardon was a member of General George B. McClellan’s army during the Civil War, and after the Battle of Gaines Hill, where he was shot in the arm and side, was left for dead.  Coming to,  surrounded by the dead from the fight, he caught up with the Union Army just before being captured by the South.  He survived, met Lucy Smith and proposed in 1867, married four years later.  They were married 27 years before Thomas’ death in 1898.

T.B. Cardon Dead.  Passing Away One of Logan’s Most Highly Respected Citizens. The hand of death has again been thrust into our midst and has plucked from amongst us one whom, not only his family, but the entire community, will miss and mourn for.  Thomas B. Cardon passed away at his home on Tuesday evening after an illness reached its culmination in an attack of pneumonia which developed recently, and was the stated cause of death.

Nervous prostration, brought on by worry over business reverses which a less honest man than he would not have noticed, which had weakened his body and made it an easy prey to disease, was the real cause of death. He built up a magnificent business here, and then when the panic came a few years ago he lost it all, simply because he gave every man credit for being as honest as he was himself.  He never recovered from the shock of the affair, but fell prey to needless worry; for no man in Logan would have deemed Thomas B. Cardon’s word less than his bond. But the strain was too great; the magnificent brain wore itself out and the big, honest heart of Thomas B. Cardon was stilled forever. He leaves a wife and family behind him, who will miss him as much, but will treasure within their hearts the memory of his worth and goodness.

A biographical sketch of Mr. Cardon was partly prepared for this issue but was withheld at the request of the relatives, in order to obtain some additional information in regard to his life.  The funeral services will be held at one o’clock on Friday in the tabernacle.

–      Utah Journal Newspaper, February 17, 1898

John Wesley Linton Family Photo

Today I share with you a photo of John Wesley Linton and wife Emma Adelaide Proctor, and two of their children.  With a bit of thought and research I believe I can tell you which of their five children are in the photo.  Let’s start with a little history.

John Wesley Linton’s grandfather was Benjamin Franklin Linton, who was born June 16, 1777, in Loudoun County, Virginia, the son of Captain John Linton and Ann Mason.  Benjamin F. Linton married Lucy Crewdson, April 12, 1805, in Fluvanna County, Virginia.  Even though his parents and other brothers and sisters moved to the Washington/Nelson County area in Kentucky, Benjamin settled in Logan County, Kentucky.

Benjamin and Lucy had twelve children – Mildred L., Moses Lewis, Nany M., John, Thomas Crewdson, William Crewdson, Elizabeth, Benjamin Burkette, John Newman, Lucy Crewdson, Burkette Lewis and George Thomas Linton.  Most of the older children moved away from Logan County, the younger ones stayed in Logan County.

Mildred married her cousin John L. Edwards, who lived in Washington County, Kentucky.  They are buried in the Linton Cemetery, along with the Captain and other members of the family.

Moses Lewis Linton married Ann Rachel Booker, from Washington County, became a doctor and moved his family to St. Louis, Missouri.  He taught at the university and was very widely known for his medical skills, as well as his charitable work.  In the new St. Louis Cathedral he is memorialized on the ceiling as a founding member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Nancy Mason Linton married John Mize and lived in Logan County.

John Linton, also a doctor, moved to Iowa and lived among the Indians of that area, treating them and learning their ways.  He is featured in the Garnavillo Iowa Museum, with many of his doctor’s tools, vials, medicines, and other items.

I’m not sure where Thomas Crewdson Linton lived, or who he married.

William Crewdson moved farther than any of his siblings.  He kept moving west, finally making it to California, where he lived until his death.

The other children all lived in Logan County.  Benjamin Burkette Linton married Nancy Jane Newman.  They are the parents of John Wesley Linton, featured in the photo.  John Wesley Linton was born November 14, 1843.  He joined the southern cause during the Civil War, and was part of the Orphan Brigade.  So many members of his company died that he vowed if he returned home he would plant cedar trees for each and every one who did not return.  True to his word, John Wesley did plant those trees – and many are still growing on his farm today!

After the war, John Wesley Linton married Emma Adelaide Proctor on November 11, 1869.  The couple had five children, Benjamin Proctor, John Warder, James Thomas, Lucy N. and Hugh Walter Linton.  Unfortunately, Lucy died at the age of 22 in 1903.  The four sons lived until the 1940’s – Benjamin Proctor Linton died January 19, 1941; the other three brothers died in 1945 – the youngest, Hugh Walter Linton, died March 21; James Thomas Linton died November 13; and two weeks later John Warder Linton died November 27.

Now, back to the photo.  Looking at the clothing and examining the card leads me to believe this photograph was taken about 1883-1885.  The card has an uneven scalloped edge which is appropriate to that time period.  There is no image printed on the back, but a small, photo-like image is glued to the back.  If you look careful you can see Genelli, St. Louis, printed under the photo of the woman.  I found Genelli, Hubert Brothers, Proprietors, running a photographic studio at 923 Olive Street from 1885.

John Wesley Linton and his family lived in Logan County, Kentucky, near the town of Russellville.  But they had family who lived in St. Louis!  Dr. Moses Lewis Linton had died by this date, but his children lived there.  I’m convinced this was taken during a visit to cousins.

Our next obstacle – which two children are shown in the photo?  My guess would be James Thomas and Lucy.  If you enlarge the photo you can definitely see the child standing with her hand on her father’s shoulder is a little girl.  She wears a ring on the middle finger of her right hand, and a small necklace, and her hair is styled very similar to her mother’s.  The little boy looks a few years older.  In 1885 Lucy would have been five and Thomas, eight.  It could also be that the photo was taken a year or two earlier.  There is no photographer’s name at the bottom of the card, and that could be due to setting up shop.  Either way, I feel very confident in naming the two wee ones.  The older boys could have been left at home with relatives; and Hugh, who was born in February of 1883, may have been too young to travel.  Another reason to date this photo to 1884 was the death of Ann Rachel Booker Linton, Moses’ wife, March 5, 1884.

Always check the small clues that may help you date photographs.  They will help you get close to the date.

J. Zweifel Photographer – Dayton Ohio

I love this photo!  The proud grandpapa and his adorable grandchild are just precious!  The photo was probably taken 1900-1910.  Even though we don’t know much about the man and child in the photo, there is information on the photographer, a Mr. Zweifel of Dayton, Ohio.  I found several mentions of him in the Photographer’s Association News, including an article written by him.

from Photographer’s Association News, Volume 3, Issue 7

“Cooperation”

By J. Zweifel, Dayton, Ohio

I believe the best way to build up a business is to begin at the bottom.  So start with your customers and never let one leave the studio displeased.  A pleased customer is the best advertisement one can send out.

Instead of breaking your neck to get your competitor’s customers, try for new ones.  It pays better.

We should have more cooperative advertising.  Our strongest competitors are not the photographers, but the fellows that sell luxuries.  Cooperation will bring the photographers some of the money spent in candy shops and jewelry stores.

Cooperative advertising will increase the amount of money spent for photographs and each man will get his share.

We are losing a great opportunity by not following up the Eastman Kodak Advertising stronger than we do; first, by joint advertisements and then follow up with our individual advertisements.

We worry too much about the other fellow.  General Grant was once asked what he thought Lee was going to do and he replied, “I’m not worrying what he is going to do, but I’m very busy with what I’m going to do.”

So if we use our energy in what we are doing and not waste it on the other fellow we will get along better.

Let’s meet each other with a smile and handshake and see how much good we can do each other instead of trying to “get the other fellow’s goat.”  We will all live longer and better.

In another issue it was noted that the meeting of the Ohio State Photographers was held October 8th and 9th at the offices of J. Zweifel, East Third Street, Dayton, Ohio.  During the meeting they discussed the art of artificial lighting.  It was a working session where over ‘100 studies were made, demonstrating the best possible way to make photos.’  At the next meeting they were going to discuss taking photos with films instead of plates.

Old Photograph from W. E. Johns in Lexington

I share with you today this very interesting photo.  This is definitely a cabinet card photo – not sure why that is written on the front of the card instead of the photographer’s name – but the clothes and hairstyle of the woman portrayed do not reflect the 1870 to 1900 time period for this type of photography.

The appearance of this woman’s neck is unusual for this time period.  Usually women wore collars high on their necks, almost to the chin.  And the material of the clothing is very different from what is normally seen.  She is quite lovely and has that tantalizing hint of a smile playing upon her lips.

The cabinet card was introduced in the United States in 1867, gained popularity from 1878 to 1897, and was used occasionally until about 1900.

This particular card has a gold beveled edge which dates it from 1885-1900.  The centered monogram (although the photographers name does not appear on this card) dates this to 1889-1894, and the gold foil stamped text to 1890-1900.

in the 1870’s many cabinet cards had no imprint on the back.  During the 1880’s photographers added a huge imprint, stating their name and address, filling the entire back of the card.  By the middle and late 1890’s the imprint was smaller and simpler than before.

W. E. Johns, located at 55 E. Main Street, Lexington, took this photograph – at least one hundred years ago.

Does anyone recognize this woman from Lexington, Kentucky?

c. 1910 Woman’s Traveling Outfit

I’m so excited to share this photo with you today – a woman’s traveling costume from about 1910.  The pleated skirt is very stylish, partnered with a high collared white blouse, set off with a pin at the throat.

Don’t you love the long jacket?  Large puffed sleeves with slim lower sleeves – and the black collar and cuff with stars.  The dark gloves are a good contrast to the white outfit.

And can we talk about the hat?  The multitude of flowers give this outfit a softening touch.  It looks very nice with her feminine hairstyle.

Such a fascinating photo of an era of long ago!