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.
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Stream Unwound's Massive, 32-Track 'Rat Conspiracy' Box SetSPIN, March 11th
Rat Conspiracy (which takes its name from a one-time working title for Fake Train) also includes vintage photographs and a 10,000-word narrative written by "latter-day Unwound diarist" David Wilcox. Best of all, though, is the fact that all 32 of the...Read more
A view from the lifeguard chairNorthShoreOfLongIsland.com, March 11th
seeking respite from the summer's heat. Vintage photographs in the book portray beachgoers of a bygone era frolicking along a waterfront dotted with umbrellas and blankets, enjoying the indulgences of the hotels, inns and restaurants that catered...Read more
Suffragist Alice Paul Subject of One-Act Play in LortonPatch.com, March 10th
Five actors in multiple roles, aided by a cinematic panorama of vintage photographs, portray the individuals who changed the political and social landscape of the early twentieth century. This new play, designed for audiences ages 12 and older, was...Read more
Steam Locomotive Photography Leads Ephemera SaleMaine Antique Digest, March 10th
The mammoth archive, estimated at $1000/2000, included several thousand vintage photographs in various formats. Each showed engine after engine after engine. Hundreds of the black-and-white 4" x 6" prints were carefully captioned. The typewriting along ...Read more
Ross Carmichael's photograph collection for sale with help from Powell CameraSan Gabriel Valley Tribune, March 6th
Ross Carmichael's photograph collection for sale with help from Powell Camera. Photos of actor Morris Ankrum, center, along with Fred MacMurray from the photo collection of former Warner Bros. studio photographer Ross Carmichael. (Photo by Keith ...Read more
In pictures: Indian women through the agesBBC News, March 3rd
India's Tasveer Arts in collaboration with Cinnamon is holding an exhibition in Delhi of vintage photographs of women, taken between the 1850s and 1950s. These include studio portraits, film stills, post cards and other promotional material. This is a...Read more
Pam Raworth Shares Orbs, Light Energies from Her Photograph Collection in ...PR Web (press release), February 14th
Pam Raworth explores the fantastic world of orbs in her new full-color book, “Amazing Orbs: Orbs and Other Light Anomalies” (published by Balboa Press). Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “orb” as “something (such as a planet, the sun, or the moon...Read more
Baltimore Museum of Art awarded color and black-and-white photograph collectionBaltimore Business Journal, February 10th
Art awarded color and black-and-white photograph collection. Edward Burtynsky's. Enlarge Photo. Baltimore Museum of Art. Edward Burtynsky's "Oxford Tire Pile #1, shot in Westley, Calf., is among the photographs donated to the Baltimore Museum of Art...Read more