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
Take a deep dive at Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort LauderdaleChicago Daily Herald, September 16th
Vintage photographs fast-forward me to American beaches and pools that remained segregated into the 1960s. Other artifacts run the gamut: posters and postcards depicting architecturally stunning pools from Rockaway Beach, N.Y., to Johannesburg; ...Read more
Campaign aims to connect residents with lost landmarksSarnia Observer, September 15th
Sarnia Heritage Committee members Wayne Wager and Gregory Ross stand beside a mural of Sarnia's city hall, as it was when it stood in the early 1900s where Limbo Lounge is now. The poster is part of a Rebuild Sarnia Heritage campaign the committee ...Read more
Video - David Beckham Poses With Photographer Peter Lindbergh Outside ...Contactmusic.com, September 15th
Ahead of the signing for the new book containing a photograph collection of him in the Belstaff 'Off Road' selection, David Beckham was seen getting out of his car at Belstaff House in New York City. The footballer turned model was later seen emerging...Read more
Bangladeshi artist qualifies to the final 15The Daily Star, September 15th
Naeem Mohaiemen of Bangladesh is presenting 'Ranking Street, 1953', an intimate work that reveals the artist's memories of his family, using his family home as the subject and uncovering the past through vintage photograph negatives. He is a brilliant...Read more
Antique, collectible appraisal events this weekGreen Bay Press Gazette, September 14th
At both programs, Moran will appraise objects in the categories of fine art, furniture, ceramics, glassware, vintage photographs, advertising, folk art, toys, metal-ware, clocks and costume jewelry. Excluded items are all weapons, including swords and...Read more
Memphis Railroad And Trolley Museum Hosts Central Station's 100th ...The Chattanoogan, September 14th
On Saturday, noted rail historian, Milton Winter, will relate the fascinating story, with vintage photographs, of the 100-year history of Central Station at 1 p.m. in the Amtrak waiting room. Built by the Illinois Central Railroad and completed in 1914...Read more
Passyunk Avenue: A place to celebrate Italian culture and heritageDelco News Network, September 12th
Among the unique exhibits at the Italian Immigration Museum is part of retired barber Sam Rosati's shop which used to be right down the street from the museum. Complete with a life-size cutout of Sal, the proprietor in his younger years, the exhibit...Read more
MHS nears fundraising goal for photo acquisitionHelena Independent Record, September 10th
Bud Lake and Randy Brewer spent more than 30 years collecting nearly 2,800 vintage photographs taken of the Crow Tribe and its people. They range from portraiture to action shots, and depict dress, food, dance, ceremony, encampments and many other ...Read more