Just a few examples are shown below to whet your appetite!Vital records—birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates and divorce decrees—are some of the best resources to help build a family tree.Ideally we should consider all these criteria when considering the clothing of family members as seen in old photographs.
In this series, Jayne Shrimpton, internationally recognised dress historian, portrait specialist, photo detective and regular contributor to Family Tree, Your Family History and Family History Monthly magazines, dates and analyses different types of photographs and helps you to add context to your old family pictures.
Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs.
It was, therefore, the quality of fabric and extravagance of trimmings that distinguished the dress of the affluent from that of the poorer classes – not in general its basic cut or shape.
A domestic servant, for example, could appear superficially similar to her more affluent mistress.
However, the wizard will usually date your photograph to within a period of 9 years, and often more closely than that.
If it does not do so, because your photograph is one of the exceptions, we will custom date it personally for you at no extra cost.Therefore, a particular design of card mount used in Manchester would be used at approximately the same time in York and Brighton as well – in fact countrywide.Many characteristics were short lived as new mount designs and features were constantly introduced by the printers to encourage photographers to buy more mounts so as to remain up to date and in fashion.Information about new trends was plentiful and old garments were often re-styled to bring them up to date.A wide array of materials of varying textures and prices was available to suit different pockets and needs.Everyone wished to create a good impression in the treasured photographs that would later be shown to family and friends and might be displayed in an album, or hung on the wall.