Based on its size and composition, I confirmed that my picture was a tintype, a photographic technique that came into use in the mid-1850s and lasted until the turn of the century. But it does help me rule out a pairing of Michael and Timothy.Knowing the type of photo can still leave a large time period, but if you know the subject of the photo, your genealogical research should be able to help you narrow that. I now turn to fashion to see if what these men are wearing can help me narrow the date range of the photo.For men, look at vests, neckties, the fit of a jacket (loose or fitted) and how it is buttoned.Since I'm no fashionista, I turned to websites such as Family Chronicle, which also has published two books on dating photos, for help in matching styles with a particular era.Cabinet Cards The larger version of the carte-de-visite, these images were mounted on heavy card stock to keep the photos from curling.These photographs were frequently displayed in cabinets or bookcases, hence the name.
See also: Safely store, display your old family photographs.
The modern metal zipper was invented in 1914 and used in galoshes and bags until 1927, after which they were also used in men’s trousers. Machines were not in common use for civilian garments until after 1845.
They were not common in women’s dresses until the late 1930s. Machine chain stitch came first, followed by lockstitch. Hand-sewn and machine-sewn construction (as opposed to hand-sewn finishing) coexisted for years – until the 1880s, if not later.
Short, center-back neck zippers – mostly 1930s-1940s. Coil (plastic) zippers – invented in 1940, but not in common use until the early 1960s.
The zigzag machine was patented in 1873 by Helen Blanchard, but a model for home use, manufactured by Italian company Necchi, was not available to consumers until 1947.