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You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go. See also: Safely store, display your old family photographs.Two young men stare out at me from a small old photograph. A variety of websites offer tips and tools, and they have the great advantage of being able to provide visual aids.On the back, in my grandmother's handwriting, is written "Grandpa King's brothers." At least I've got some information to work with, but I'm eager to learn more: When was the picture taken? Which two of my great-grandfather's brothers are these? Type of photograph To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J. Both websites detail the history of photography, including samples of various types of photography, such as daguerreotype, cabinet card and tintype.Another extensive online resource is the Library of Congress.Enter a photo type into its search engine and you will see many examples that may turn out to be similar to the photograph you are researching. Both the men in my photo are young, but one appears to be older than the other, and he has arm slung around his younger brother's shoulders. The elder is wearing a watch chain and a pinky ring. Michael was seven years older than Peter, who was seven years older than Timothy.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.
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.Portal to the Library of Virginia's digital image collections, including 1939 World's Fair Photograph Collection, School Buildings Service Photographs, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Photograph Collection and more.The Picture Collection Online, from the New York Public Library, is an image resource site composed of 30,000 digitized images focusing on New York City, costume, design, American history and other subjects.Therefore the photo is more than likely Michael and Peter, perhaps taken before Peter left for Kansas to live with relatives, leaving Michael behind.Sometimes a good guess is as close as you'll get to the answers.