Thursday, March 22, 2012

For The Love of Tintypes

{many of these tintypes were found at the Library of Congress
& some are favorites from pinterest}

I LOVE Tintypes...
everything about them fascinates me.

They are a frozen moment in time, that can never be duplicated.

Looking into the eyes of each subject, I can't help but try &
imagine what thought crossed their mind at
the instant the image was taken.

There's something magical about these tiny pieces of metal...

these bits of history, no bigger then a couple of inches,
& yet the stories they tell are priceless.

The stories are in their eyes.

The eyes of a child...

& the eyes of a solider.

Each story is there to be found,

if you just look closely enough.

I ADORE this one, she tells me exactly what she's thinking.
Our little civil war girl does NOT like the photographer & most certainly
does not want to be sitting still for so long, she's just plain mad!
Oh, but look at that exquisite dress & her ringlets.

Someone had made a comment on this picture that I thought was perfection...
'the oldest child is the peacemaker, you can tell it by the gentleness
in her face, but the other two are strong willed & a handful.'

Like I said, perfection.

Maybe one of the reasons I love these images so much is because it
didn't happen in second. The subject needed to stand motionless
for a couple of minutes & in those silent moments, I think
the true nature of their feelings was captured.

Some of humor...

some of joy...

& some of sorrow.
Did you know in the Victorian era it was common for loved ones in
mourning to have their backs turned to the camera. It's not to
show their hairstyles, but to show their loss.

There were actually 3 different types of photography during the early to late
1800's. Daguerreotypes were made on copper, Ambrotypes
were made on glass & Tintypes were made on iron.

The process for the first two types was quite expensive, making the cost prohibitive
for most families. These images were mainly taken by the middle class & the rich. 

One common practice during the Victorian era, was to have an image taken
of a loved one who was deceased. Since most people couldn't
afford to have pictures taken, this may have been the only
image they would have of that special someone.

We take photographs for granted now shooting away on our cell phones,
ipads & digital cameras. We skpe with our loved ones, never feeling too
far away. To think back to a time when the only image you may have
had of your child is once they've passed away, is heartbreaking.

When the Tintype came out, the process was much less
expensive making it a little more affordable to the masses.

They could be produced quickly, even while you waited. Photographers started setting
up shop at carnivals, fairs or other places where lots of people would gather.

What must they have thought when they had a memory to hold
in their hand for the very first time?

And now, they are my history book...

in each image I see their hopes & dreams.
I see where they've been...

& how far they've come.

Those tiny, scratched pieces of metal give me pride in the past...

& hope for the future.

I'm a romantic at heart...

can you tell?

As far as I'm concerned, these images can never belong to one person,
they belong to the hands of time as a reminder of our shared past.
Just touching them gives me a sense of history.

I LOVE that for the movie 'Cold Mountain', they made Tinypes of
Nicole Kidman as Ada...

& Jude Law as W.P. Inman bringing these fictional characters to life.
I LOVE Tintypes!



Trisha said...

They are amazing and you have some extraordinary ones in your possession. You are so right about us taking pictures today for granted. I remember looking at pictures of my great, great grandparents-they looked so mad and I always asked my mom why. She said it was because they had to sit there for so long just to take one picture. But wasn't that so worth it, especially today?!


Alice said...

Beautiful! I think of the technology it took to make these tintypes, and I'm fascinated by it. I don't have any tintypes, but I love looking at their images on the web. Someday I'll find just the right ones that speak to me. Around here these are difficult to find.

Thanks for sharing their history with us.

Maggie said...

FABULOUS POST!! Thanks for the beautiful images.

Blessed Serendipity said...

I am in awe over your collection. I love these! They are very special.


Charlene said...

I LOVE them too Susie! HUGS!

JoAnne said...

I too am fascinated with tintypes. This was a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing these images!

Kim said...

Suzie, I collect tintypes and cab cards and this post is just beautiful, each and every image is so intriguing...Thank you so much for posting and for the inspiration! xo

Kasia said...

THANK YOU for this info!!!! I have always wondered what these were called and could never figure it out! :D My daughter thinks they lads are good looking ;)


Cindy Craine said...

Oh Susie-Q I knew you were up to something when I saw your activity on Pinterest! This is an amazing post. I have looked at it three times now!!! You've been busy doing some wonderful posts! Miss you pretty girl!

Marilou of Lulus Lovlies and Heartful Creations said...

I love all the vintage Pic's Susie, thanks for a great post as they are amazing. I guess it is a good thing we went to KC's workshops last year as this year she cancelled her So.CA trip, not enough takers she said. Have a great and creative week:) Hugs Marilou

The Divine Mrs M said...

Thanx for a wonderful & interesting history lesson. I knew nothing of this before reading your post. Now, I may find myself doing internet searches to learn and view more!

Mothra Sue said...

What an amazing post and incredible, arresting images! Thank you for sharing. That mourning pose of turning away from the camera has really struck a chord with me. Wow.