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Dating old family photographs

Sometimes information is just lost to time as you will probably never be able to get an exact date, but this is one case where a close guesstimate is good enough.If you are like me, you have stacks of old family photographs with no date information on them.It can be difficult to commit to memory these various photographic processes and when they were used.I find it helpful to use a web site as a reference point.

We've all heard terms like Cartes de Visite, Cabinet Cards, and Daguerreotypes.

They suggest that you look for certain details within the picture such as hairstyles, clothing, jewelry, shoes, cars, plants, furniture and others.

By knowing the date when these items were available or popular would allow a rough date to be placed on when the photograph was taken. How can we tell if grandpa kept a certain hairstyle, clothing or car for 20 years beyond when they were available?

With a BA (Hons) degree in History, MA degree in the History of Dress (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London) and seven years’ curatorial experience at the National Portrait Gallery, London, Jayne is a highly-qualified, academically-trained historian and portrait (artworks and photographs) specialist.

As an independent historical image consultant, using her in-depth knowledge of fashion history and over 30 years’ accumulated experience, Jayne has personally dated and interpreted hundreds of thousands of family photographs, oil and watercolour paintings, portrait miniatures, drawings and silhouettes.


  1. Use your old photograph requires you can use to watch for when dating comes alive at abebooks. Get an old the following photographs added by analysing fashion.

  2. How to Date an Old Photograph. Unfortunately, dating an old photograph can be a difficult task if there are few details to go on. Sometimes information is just lost.

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