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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'Miss Peregrine' sequel another page turnerTimesonline.com, August 1st
One of the most enjoyable and unique features of both books is that the story is written around many positively enthralling vintage photographs. There are more in book two than we found in book one, and the way that they are used to create a story is...Read more
Small town's heart found in a desert cafeSFGate, July 31st
The waitress showed us to a table along the side wall near an oval frame holding an antique photograph of an owl. I ordered grilled halibut, a silly choice 500 miles from an ocean, and Michael ordered a hamburger. Most of the women in the cafe wore...Read more
Discover Northfield's History in New BookThe Northfield News, July 31st
This is the second book of vintage photographs to be published by the Northfield Historical Society, the first, Picture Northfield: A Photographic Study, by Julia McIntyre and Richard Cleveland came out in 1985. This new book has a number of stunning ...Read more
Mike Miller, grandson of a visionary Cleveland mayor, is part of a new vision ...The Plain Dealer, July 31st
Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection. By 1940, he won the post of Cuyahoga County Democratic chairman, toppling the veteran chairman, W.B. Gongwer. Those who have studied the region's political history say Miller was one of the first to ...Read more
After 28 years in charge, retiring leader Krull reflects on the library's futureNews Sentinel, July 31st
*Secured custody of the printed and written materials and photograph collection of the former Lincoln Museum. *When caps on property taxes reduced revenue for local governments, including libraries, he oversaw automation and changes such as a limit on ...Read more
Muscle Beach MemoriesSanta Barbara Independent, July 30th
Inside, the walls are covered with vintage photographs and other Muscle Beach memorabilia that Morris has amassed. He is especially proud of the 14 magazine covers featuring Steve Reeves. “They are from 1947, when he won the Mr. America competition, ...Read more
Town Crier: Lake Merritt's nightlife impressive latelyContra Costa Times, July 30th
owned by the friend of my dinner companion. Rockridge restaurateur Phil Raskin had been negotiating with ZZA's Enoteca on this space for more than a year. I love what he's done with the place -- lots of warm, reclaimed wood and vintage photographs of...Read more
Princeton History in Black and White in Historical Society's New ExhibitTown Topics, July 30th
Many of the images in “Princeton's Portrait: Vintage Photographs from the Historical Society of Princeton” have never been previously exhibited. The show divides 90 shots between the two locations. During a break in the installation process last week...Read more