These photographs have a neutral image tone and were most likely produced on a matte collodion, gelatin or gelatin bromide paper.
Sometimes images from this period can be identified by a greenish cast.
Although it might seem impossible at first, the potential clues lurking in old photographs are nearly endless once you know where—and how—to look.Whether you would like to date a photograph, identify an ancestor, understand the occasion for a photograph, or all of the above, there is hope, even if the photograph lacks any personal notation or a photographer’s stamp.Who were the women wearing stunning, full-skirted dresses?Who were the children with the solemn faces and neatly curled hair?Might the portraits of bewhiskered men have been a last memento before they left home for battle?
When reviewing the photographs in this album, I first learned the importance of keeping the photographs in place.Gelatin papers were introduced in the 1870s and started gaining acceptance in the 1880s and 1890s as the gelatin bromide papers became popular. A true black-and-white image on a cabinet card is likely to have been produced in the 1890s or after 1900.The last cabinet cards were produced in the 1920s, even as late as 1924.When it is about shared memories of the glorious past there seems to be nothing better than reliving the times with the family and friends digging albums upon albums for reminiscence.But the journey could not be necessarily smooth as you tread on the path to discover the treasures of ancestors, the photographs without any of the labels, where no one took the pain to organize it for the future generations.Both were most often albumen prints, the primary difference being the cabinet card was larger and usually included extensive logos and information on the reverse side of the card to advertise the photographer’s services.