Even at first glance, it is clear that this picture is a superb representation of Edwardian middle class folk, with some working class folk; the key point is that all the people are dressed in the fashions of the day. The scene suggests they are either waiting for someone special to visit, such as the King or Queen, alternatively, that they are awaiting with serious intent for bad news of some accident, such as a mining or factory disaster.
Another possibility is that they are awaiting transport to take them on a trip for the day. If the year was slightly later I might think they were seeing men off to war. Another point to be aware of is that at least some of the crowd may old fashioned, and behind the times in their dress. I'd say the photograph was taken in Spring as they all wear coats, but also fashionable Spring-like hats, which could be Easter Bonnets for Mothering Sunday.
When dating a costume picture by dress, I always seek out the most fashionable details, which are generally found on the younger women. These details refer not only to the garments themselves, but also the hairstyle, particularly hair partings and whether the hair fringes or sweeps up. Another source of clues are the hats, examine their width, height and snugness of fit.
This photograph has no hairstyles to concentrate on, but it does have wonderful hats by the dozen.
Dating photographs by hairstyles
The fashion hats are the main clue here, as no heads are visible in the adult women. These hats are wide enough to be circa , but could be as early as bearing in mind some of the clothes. Even with magnification I cannot find one single woman without a hat or head covering. This picture is living proof that the era was still dominated by formality, even the ordinary people obey the rules of etiquette as you can see in the photography.
That formality was swept away by the First World War when rigid rules of dress codes were broken down. And this point helps us to date a photograph as the early part of the twentieth century.
Dating photographs by hairstyles - Dating photographs by hats | Dating photographs by hairstyles
I've circled a copy of the original photograph as the detail is crisper and some circles will be used here to identify certain aspects of costume history details. Several factors amongst the images suggest that we should date the photograph after , up to the later dates of I don't feel this photograph is later than , even in an unfashionable town. The boys with bicycles in the left hand side background are wearing Eton style school-uniform jackets, and collars often featured in books circa The puffed heads on garment sleeves are very subdued so that dates the picture later than Other than where specified, I am in all cases referring to female adult fashionable dress.
I can eliminate as a possible date as there simply is not enough fullness in the sleeves of any of these adult garments, moreover, the children's dress supports this view. I believe it is after and the factor that suggests this most is the rounded domes of the hats. You can see what I mean by looking at the many instances of hats, as in circles 6, 8 and Click thumbnail for a full enlargement.
How to Date Old Photographs by the Costume
These detailed circled sections are beside the explanatory text. Let's look at the picture starting with circle 1. Elements of the coat could suggest it to be circa The sleeves with soft fullness at the head and the fitted silhouette suggest late Victorian styling. But the hat is too big for that date. Hats tight and neater, with less width, were dominant in the late s. Reference circle 1 left, is probably one of the best sections to use for generally dating the picture.
The picture below for reference 1 enlarges fully. The coat is typically Edwardian, and because a waist is in evidence, I think it is before After that date waistlines were much higher following Directoire styles, and under-the-bust empire lines, but of course when women buy a coat they even now expect 2 or 3 years wear from it. In those days they may have hoped for even longer wear. Lisa believes researching your genealogy does not have to be overwhelming. All you need is a solid plan, a genealogy toolbox, and the knowledge to use those tools. Passionate about genealogy research and helping others find resources and tools to confidently research their genealogy, Lisa can be found at LisaLisson.
This is a great article. I only wish I had images as old as Daguerrotypes in my family collection. They must have been handed down to the wrong descendents not me if there were any at all. Hi please help me know the year in which this photo of our grandmother has been taken. It has been taken somewhere in Ghana, west Africa.
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Thank you so much. This is such a great article on dating old photos. I have one more suggestion — I have been successful in dating some of my cabinet cards by cross referencing the photographer in the city directory of the time period, noting what years that photographer appeared at the particular address printed on the card. Thought you might like to see the earliest in my collection, a carte de visite taken in , my great-great grandmother, Katherine Sheets Faust, age 17 luckily for me on this one, her name and age had been written on the back.
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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Honoring the Veterans And Their Memories. Create a Family Timeline. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Oh, and pants and jacket appear to be matching.
Don't forget to look at the physical attributes of each image, this appears to be a daguerreotype. Stabling stand behind him and holding chair. Herman Melvin, author, Mobey Dick. The earlier version of the bow tie was larger and looser. We have samples in other decades, of cadets in later years demonstrating this. Likewise civilian clothes often had elements of military trends, such as double pockets after WWI.
Very tall top hat, dark collar with wide lapels, full facial hair, short hair, bow tie, stand up collar and gloves. Worn from present day for formal wear developed many versions. Then a version called the butterfly wing of the s and 30s, they were pretty much the same but the wings were pointy and bent outwards.
Another collar that was similar was the but with double rounded turndown corners collar worn, from President, Chester Arthur Notice the trim around the wide lapels of the s. Harris, Luke Short, W. Bat Masterson, and W. This is the version with Petillon beside Masterson. The everyday common business suit. Appeared in the s, usually four cloth covered buttons, one engaged at the top. It was more in style not to match color. Any hat could be worn with this suit with exception of the top hat. In the the became for fitted and in between morphed into the suit we know today.
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At the end of World War I Men returning from the war faced closets full of clothes from the teens, which they wore into the early s. Edwardian etiquette commanded successive changes of clothing for gentlemen during the day. With the suits, colored shirts of putty, peach, blue-gray and cedar were worn. Shaped silk ties in small geometric patterns or diagonal stripes were secured with tie pins and a black bowler hat.
The tail coat was considered appropriate formal evening wear, with a top hat. Starched white shirts with pleated yokes, bow ties and shirts with white wing collars were also seen.