November 24, 2014

Identifying Photographs Part 2

The following article was originally written by Lorine McGinnis Schulze and published on Olive Tree Genealogy at

It may not be reproduced in any way without my written consent.

Tintypes (circa 1855)

The Ferrotype process (tintypes) was introduced in the United States in 1855. It substituted an iron plate for glass and was even cheaper than the ambrotype. Because tintypes were placed in albums along with CDVs, they were often trimmed at the sides and corners. Tintypes were produced in various sizes
  • Full plate 6 1/2" x 8 1/2"
  • Half plate 4 1/2" x 51/2"
  • 1/4 plate 3 1/8" x 4 1/8"
  • 1/6 plate 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
  • 1/9 plate 2" x 2 ½"
  • Gem approximately 1/2" x 1" 
Example of Gem tintype in Oval Matte ca 1860sGem tintype ca 1860s. A Gem tintype could be 3/4" to 1" wide. Carte de visite sized card mounts (2½"x4") enclosed the gem and the finished item was known as a carte de visite tintype or ferrotype
photo-tintype 1.5x2.5 Civil War Soldier9th plate ( 2 x 2.5) tintype in matte. Civil War Soldier
tintype 2.5x46th plate (2.5 x 3.5) tintype.

Next up I will talk about  Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards. Also see my YouTube Video Five Types of Early 19th Century Photographs 

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