From Mathew Brady's Civil War photos to Ansel Adams' landscapes to Irving Penn's magazine shots, antique and vintage photographs are highly collectible. Photography was introduced in the U.S. in 1839, and immediately became popular.
Daguerreotypes dominated the field of photography until the mid-1850s. A daguerreotype is a copper plate covered with a thin layer of polished silver that looks like a mirror when held at a certain angle. By the mid-1840s, they were affordable for the average person, and it is therefore relatively easy to find old daguerreotypes today. Most daguerreotypes were studio portraits, where the subject posed for the photograph at the photographer's studio. Daguerreotypes featuring outdoor or street scenes are far rarer.
In the mid-1850s, ambrotypes replaced the daguerreotype. An ambrotype is a negative that has been put on glass and placed against a black background to make it look like a positive. Ambrotypes were popular until the 1890s. Another example of a cased image like the daguerreotype or ambrotype is the tintype, which was patented in 1856 and was made using a thin sheet of iron.
Stereoviews, also known as stereographs, were also created in the late 1850s and reached a peak of popularity in the 1870s. Stereoviews were cheap photographs that simulated a 3D view. In the 1880s, various companies decided to mass-market stereoviews that featured pictures of foreign locations to homes and schools. Stereoviews remained popular throughout the early 1900s.
In 1859, the carte de visite, which had been created in France, was introduced to the U.S. The carte de visite, or CDV, was a 2.5 inch by 4 inch print made of paper. As it was more affordable than previous forms of photography, it was accessible to a wider group of people. Many Civil War soldiers had their photographs taken and printed as a CDV.
Real photo postcards are another popular form of photographic print. Real photo postcards were made by developing a photograph onto postcard-sized photo paper with a postcard backing. They are still made today.
The most popular paper photographic print is the gelatin silver print, or black and white photograph. Gelatin silver prints have a long lifespan if well-maintained. Most 20th cen...
Scarcity, condition, and the identity of the photographer and subject all play a role in determining the value of antique and vintage photographs. Some examples of popular (and collectible) photographers include Lewis Hine, Robert Frank, W. Eugene Smith, Danny Lyon, Paul Outerbridge, Jr., and the photographers associated with the Farm Security Administration, such as Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, and Walker Evans.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Collection of Collections
Wisconsin Historical Images
Cliff House Project
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Photographs
Source: Google News
This Malaysian City Is the Food Cart Mecca You've Never Heard OfMunchies_ Food by VICE, April 28th
Paintings, figurines, vintage photographs, and sketches of him lined the whole shop. Everything here was dedicated to this sacred pirate, the shelves lined with his literature. Some had titles like, “The God Who Walked on Earth” and “Baba's Sayings.”...Read more
Mesa history: Remembering when May Day was a thingazcentral.com, April 28th
Mesa historical photos. One of the earliest photographs of Mesa's Main Street is this one from 1899. The two-story Zenos Co-Op brick building is partially shown at far left. McClintock Photograph Collection, Arizona Historical Society. PNI mr 0109...Read more
Hundreds gather at Playhouse Square to share laugh- and tear-tinged memories ...cleveland.com, April 28th
CSU Archives Photograph Collection. Grainy black-and-white footage of Frazier – an eyebrow raised in a wicked "V" as he sang "Funeral Tango" from "Jacques Brel" – flickered on a giant screen. Later, his "Rascal" co-star, the Irish folk singer Gusti...Read more
Curators' Preview: Promising Paradise at The Wolfsonian-FIUCuban Art News, April 28th
As Vicki Gold Levi's donation to The Wolfsonian museum included hundreds of vintage photographs—most dating from the 1950s—one of my first tasks was to try to identify some of the less-renowned Cuban entertainers captured in the silver gelatin silver ...Read more
Cooperstown Confidential: Baseball's Facebook PhenomenonHardball Times, April 28th
Now retired, Gosger posts fairly regularly to Facebook, and does so on a variety of topics, ranging from his own playing days to the game of today, his views on politics, and updates on his own day-to-day life. He has a terrific collection of vintage...Read more
A Look BackColorado Springs Gazette, April 26th
During its history, the school has grown and been remodeled several times. For more on the school's history, visit www.cshs-palmer-alumni.org. MARGARETTA M. BOAS PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 001- ...Read more
Vintage Photographs of Nas, KRS-One, Jay-Z, And More To Appear In Smithsonian ...Howl & Echoes, April 13th
Washington DC has never been a 'must-see' destination on my hip-hop sightseeing tour of North America. I figure The Bronx, Harlem World, Compton, Rucker Park, 5Pointz, and the bodega where a 17-year-old Biggie Smalls delivered his dope freestyle ...Read more
Vintage Photographs Aligned With Present Day France Show You How History Is ...M2 magazine, April 3rd
A lot has happened to Paris in the last 100 years, and art director Julien Knez has set out to prove it. After trawling through photographs dating back to 1870 and matching them with the current day locations he photographed them together, bringing the...Read more