While most of us hang on to every family photograph we get and hand them down through generations, some do get lost. For whatever reason some vintage photographs find their way into circulation and become highly prized finds for collectors.
Collecting antique or vintage photographs has became a very popular hobby. It’s also one of the most misunderstood and probably one of the most curious hobbies there is. After all, why would anyone want to spend money on photographs of people they don’t even know?
Every photograph has a history and whether it’s your families history or a history that you’ll never know anything about, it’s still very interesting. Just as you might look through a stamp collection and wonder about the place it traveled from, looking at a collection of old photographs starts the imagination wondering about the event.
There are different kinds of photograph collectors just as with anything else. Some might collect pictures of places, objects like cars or planes, people, children or just collect any old photograph they can find. It’s also a fairly inexpensive hobby, as most people don’t see any value in a picture of someone they don’t know.
Old photographs are sold as both art pieces and antiques. The earliest photographs were daguerreotypes, often referred to as dags. These date back as far as 1839. Dag’s were produced by creating an image on top of a silver coated copper plate. The silver surface created a mirror like image on the photograph.
A photographic process called calotype or talbotype was introduced in 1841. This process used paper that was coated with silver iodide. From 1854 up until around 1865, photographs were taken as a negative image called ambrotype. The negative image was produced onto a glass plate and black paint was applied to the back of the glass to make the image visible.
Tintype photos came along in 1856 and they were similar to ambrotype photos. Instead of glass a thin plate of iron was used and instead of plain black paint, black Japanese varnish was used.
Various other techniques were used throughout the years to produce photographs and they’ve all became very collectable. But, photographs much like what we have today didn’t arrive until the early 1940’s and the same technique is still used for color pictures.
While written history is a very important part of world events and peoples lives, nothing can capture history like a photograph! In each antique photograph, there’s a life, a time and even a moment that will forever live because it was captured in a picture!
Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2008 TLCollectables.com