Victorian Photographic Studios Illustrated

Cartomania 3 StudiosNOW AVAILABLE – for carte de visite enthusiasts everywhere. This is the fourth of a series of free articles about collecting Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards. There are more articles to follow. Please visit Photographers of Great Britain & Ireland 1840 – 1940 for your free download.

Victorian Photographic Studios Illustrated

This article looks at Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards and how some of them illustrate the photographer’s studio – outdoors and indoors.

The article was first published in Photographica World, the magazine of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain. For more details about the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain, please visit http://www.pccgb.com

 

How Our Unique Photo Dating Wizard Works

How Our Unique Photo Dating Wizard Works - Cartomania 10 NOW AVAILABLE – for carte de visite enthusiasts everywhere. This is the third of a series of free articles about collecting Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards. There are more articles to follow. Please visit Photographers of Great Britain & Ireland 1840 – 1940 for your free download.

How Our Unique Photo Dating Wizard Works

This article explains how our unique, photograph dating wizard actually works. To use the Wizard click here.

The article was first published in Photographica World, the high quality magazine of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain – the club for collectors of all things photographic from around the world. For more details about the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain, please visit http://www.pccgb.com


 

Victorian Photographic Studio Furniture

Victorian Photographic Studio Furniture - Cartomania 8NOW AVAILABLE – for carte de visite enthusiasts everywhere. This is the second of a series of free articles about collecting Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards. There are more articles to follow. Please visit Photographers of Great Britain & Ireland 1840 – 1940 for your free download.

Victorian Photographic Studio Furniture

This article looks at the many types of posing chairs and other posing devices used in Victorian photographic studios. Many were specially designed to change in size so that they suited men, women and children.

The article was first published in Photographica World, the high quality magazine of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain – the club for collectors of all things photographic from around the world. For more details about the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain, please visit http://www.pccgb.com

 

Collecting Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards

Cartomania Part 1NOW AVAILABLE – for carte de visite enthusiasts everywhere. This is the first of a series of free articles about collecting Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards. There are more articles to follow. Please visit Photographers of Great Britain & Ireland 1840 – 1940 for your free download.

This article was first published in Photographica World in 2003. Photographica World is the magazine of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain – the club for collectors of all things photographic from around the world.

 

Would you like us to date your old family portraits?

Customised Dating of Photographs  –  service offered through ‘Photographers of Great Britain & Ireland, 1840 – 1940’

We have a lot of experience and data to enable accurate dating of individual portrait photographs from 1840 – 1940. There is a  charge and funds received help with the cost of maintaining the archive.

Individually researched photo dating service by archive staff – cost as follows

1 = £7.00     2 = £13.00     3 = £18.00    4 = £22.00. Thereafter £4.50 per photograph.

The more you would like dated, the cheaper it gets!  There is no charge unless photographs can be dated confidently to within a 10 year period.

DATING your photos will certainly help to fit them into your Family Tree

Using Trade Directories to Date Photographs

Using Trade Directories

Trade directories are extremely helpful for dating old photographs. They are ONE of the main tools available and will often provide an answer that is accurate enough.

However, like most historical records, it helps to understand a little bit about them, including their strengths and their limitations.

Trade directories were, and still are today (Yellow Pages etc.), designed to allow businesses to advertise their goods and services. They are almost always DATED to reflect the year of publication and can cover a very small area such as a village or a wider area such as a town, city or county.

Good things about trade directories. They

  • are dated
  • include the business name
  • include one or more business addresses
  • sometimes include other marketing information such as products and prices.

Limitations of trade directories.

  • not every business advertised in trade directories
  • those that did advertise did not necessarily advertise every year; some advertised only periodically when they felt the need to or when funds were available
  • dating a photograph using trade directory data is less precise when businesses stayed at the same address for a long time
  • compilation  of a directory was usually six to 12 months in advance and business details sometimes altered between compilation and publication
  • historically, compilation errors did inevitably occur.

From this, we can deduce that

  • a trade directory entry indicates that a firm WAS IN BUSINESS at a particular address in at least part of  the year that the directory was published (unless details changed between compilation and publication ) – the actual dates are not definable – only the year
  • the ABSENCE of a trade directory entry does not mean that a firm was NOT in business at that time (maybe it did not advertise)
  • trade directory data helps most when firms moved about – the longer a firm was at a particular address, the less useful the trade directory information is for dating purposes.

Other ways of dating a photograph

For a general introduction, go to Dating Old Photographs.

If your photograph is a carte de visite or a cabinet card, and the trade directory information alone is not precise enough for you, use our unique dating wizard – coming SOON only on this website.

OR – if you prefer – go to our Custom Dating page and ask for our personal estimate of the date of your photograph which we will assess using all of the many sources of information available to us.

Ron Cosens 2009 http://www.cartedevisite.co.uk

Can I find any more photographs of my family by the same photographer?

Many people have photographs of their ancestors and ask the question ‘Can I find any more photographs of my family by the same photographer?’ or ‘Can I find out the names of the people in my photograph?’.

To do this would mean that the photographer’s records need to be available somewhere, especially their day books listing customer details and their heavy, old glass negatives.

This is very rarely the case as the books and negatives have nearly always been destroyed many years ago as the need for providing reprints died out.

For an interesting story of glass negatives that were saved – see http://www.cartedevisite.co.uk/faq/negatives

Very occasionally, records have been saved and are held in a museum, library or County Records Office local to where the photographer had his studio. It is always worth enquiring and, if you do get lucky, don’t forget to let us know about it as we are trying to build up a list of archives that hold this type of material.

At present only some of the work and records of the more famous photographers such as Camille Silvy and Alexander Bassano are held at places like the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Don’t forget, we have over 5,000 photographs of NAMED sitters listed on this site – see http://www.cartedevisite.co.uk/sitters – and we have details of one other source which may also be able to help.

Ron Cosens  August 2009 http://www.cartedevisite.co.uk

New e-Mail & Print feature at Photographers 1840 -1940

In response to suggestions from our users, each page on Photographers 1840 – 1940 now features a user friendly ‘e-Mail this Page’ and ‘Print this Page’ facility. As well as being useful for notifying friends about the site content, and printing pages for your research, you can always e-mail a specific page to yourself to retain a digital copy. The icons for e-mail and print can be found towards the top of each page just under the banner image.

Have fun exploring the site … in the last few months its grown to almost four hundred pages and there’s lots more content still to be published.