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Help dating an old photograph

Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 23 May 2008 10:59AM GMT
Classification: Query
I've attached a photograph that has been frustrating the family for a very long time. We're not sure what kind of date we could put to it. I think the colour of it might be a little misleading, as the photo came from my great-grandmother, who was a chain-smoker, and therefore it might look browner because of the smoke fumes.
I think maybe the only way to date it properly would be by looking at the clothes the ladies in the photo are wearing, but i have almost no knowledge of fashions through the ages.

Any help would be greatly received.
Attachments:

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 30 May 2008 9:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
The brownish color is known as sepia which was very popular in the late 19th century and is most likely not the result of tobacco smoke. From the clothing and hair styles I would estimate this photo is from the 1880's.

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 2 Jul 2008 5:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
I concur 100% I would add some latitude of plus or minus maybe a decade but no more than that. My gg-grandmother had a dress just like the women on the left with all the buttons or what ever.

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 8 Sep 2008 9:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Katherine - me again sticking my oar in! I think this photo dates from the mid 1890s or possibly slightly later.

From what I've read, Leg o' mutton sleeves were introduced around 1892/3, and had become less fashionable by the end of the decade, although of course the ladies in the photo may have been wearing older clothes, not necessarily the latest fashions.

Janice

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 8:29PM GMT
Classification: Query
i'm thinking mid 1880's maybe even into the 1890's. i have so many old photos of my own relatives...some of which i'm lucky enough to say have at least names on the back which helps narrow down a time period....and i'm a history major on top of that....i would have to say 1880's-1890's is my best guess...hope it helps...
and if it is that old, then cigarette smoke has little to do with the color. it may have actually aged that color...
happy hunting.

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 1 Oct 2008 3:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
You've all been such a great help. In actual life I'm pretty sure that the photograph has aged a little bit due to cigarette smoke, but not too much.

So I think that, using all of your information, it's probably from the early 1890s. This helps a little bit. Surprisingly, here aren't many women in my ancestry, there's only one family I can find that has enough female members to make up the photograph, and they certainly match the date of early 1890s. I can only guess, but it looks to me like 3 generations of women from the same family... it's just a shame there are no names on it!

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 30 Aug 2012 10:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Circa 1900

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 31 Aug 2012 3:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
The May/June issue of Family Tree Magazine, page 51, may be helpful. There are a few pictures from different decades. Your picture is most like the one for the 1890's. According to the article, sleeves were full at the shoulder and snug at the wrist. The silhouette was hourglass. Skirts were smooth at the hips. Short, frizzed bangs were common. I see that the girls and young women have fuller hairstyles which apparently was more common in the 1900's, so there is a possibility the older women were wearing earlier fashions, as someone else mentioned. Perhaps there were sisters, sisters-in-law and/or cousins in the picture, as well as a grandmother, judging from the different facial characteristics.

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 18 Jul 2013 11:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
I would say this photo is late 1890s. The leg of mutton sleeves predominate and thus it can't really be earlier than the 1890s and although some styles kept mutton sleeves into the mid 1900s in this case nearly everyone is wearing them, and those clothes strike me as fairly new and the wearers as a group have put in quite a bit of effort into clothes and hairstyles.

I think this picture was taken in England. Looks like a typical English built built terrace garden, but I'm not that clear there was that much of that sort of architecture in the States.

Hairstyles are noticeably longer in the younger women compared to those older. The comments earlier on in previous threads about body shape are spot on I think. If this was later than 1900, I would have thought some lighter colours would be seen. The high necklines also strike me as very much 1890s rather than a later date.

One thing I do note is that every woman seems to have their own idea about hair and blouse/shirt and buttons, and from this I could make a comment about how a variety of styles could always be seen and everyone wasn't a fashion clone even in the same family/area etc - yet rather contradicting what I've just said, all the six where we can see the lower body appear to be wearing pretty much exactly the same skirt, and no one is wearing a hat, yet hat wearing was commonplace and regarding as necessary to complete many outfits.

Regards

Neil

Re: Help dating an old photograph

Posted: 9 Jan 2014 7:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have used Bll Heroy to identify a time frame for my photographs. He uses the paper and ink to determine the year. Old Photo Specialists:336-271-6960
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