Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tintype Tuesday - Sweet Civil War Era Toddler

This sweet little boy posed for this tintype photo most likely in the early to mid 1860's.  I am not good at dating children's clothing, but the belted suit with jacket and jaunty cap he is wearing suggests the 1860’s timeframe. The buttons and trim on his suit are amazing.  His cheeks are colorized (tinted) and he is staring at the camera with the most soulful eyes.  He appears to be about 2 1/2 to 3 years old.


Tintypes were first invented in 1852 by Adolpe Alexander Martin, but were patented in 1856 by Hamilton Smith of Ohio.  A rival, Victor Griswold, patented a similar product which he called a ferrotype and later patented with the name tintype.  Tintypes were actually thin sheets of iron on which multiple copies of the photo were printed and then cut.*

Another aid in dating this photo was that this was actually encased in a gold metal frame (see below) which I tried to scan, but the photo came out blurry.  I removed the tintype so the boy's photo could be clearer.  These metal frames were used when tintypes were first introduced.


*Source:  Allen County Public Library, A Tintype by Any Other Name

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