Early photographic media collection, circa 1840s-2010  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Collector
University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections
Title
Early photographic media collection
Dates
circa 1840s-2010 (inclusive)
1840s-1880s (bulk)
Quantity
125 photographs (8 boxes) ; various sizes
Includes: 7 daguerreotypes
8 ambrotypes
41 individual tintypes
1 album containing 44 tintypes
1 album containing 11 tintypes and 1 paper photo
1 pannotype
10 cyanotypes
4 crayon/charcoal enlargements
4 autochromes
1 chromolithograph
Collection Number
PH0500
Summary
Photographs made using early photographic technologies: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cyanotypes, pannotypes, crayon enlargements
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Selections from the collection can be viewed on the Libraries' Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator is required to view originals.

Languages
English


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The history of photography has remained enduringly entwined over its nearly two-century existence with technological breakthroughs and advancements. The evolving methods, equipment and materials, along with the public’s shifting appetite for varying aesthetics, themes, applications and expense, forged the medium’s prosperity over time. With the introduction of the French-born daguerreotype process to America in 1839, the nineteenth century was a period of fruitful experimentation marked by the introduction of a multitude of processes, each flourishing and reigning for a brief to extended period of time before being dethroned for the next surpassing development.

Daguerreotype 1839-late 1860s .

The American middle class’s ability to obtain inexpensive detailed images of themselves was ushered in with the arrival of the British Queen to New York City in November of 1839. Aboard the steamer was Francois Gouraud—the agent of the Frenchman Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre, who was the inventor of the world’s first utilitarian, commercially-viable photographic process known as the daguerreotype. Just four months following the arrival of Daguerre’s agent, the first daguerreotype portrait studio in the world opened in New York City. New York cultivated the evolution of daguerreian industry throughout America due to the city’s prominent and influential standing within the nation, and by the mid-1840s, all principal cities in America were brimming with daguerreotype studios.

The daguerreotype’s period of greatest production in America was from 1850 to 1855 when approximately three million were produced annually, reaching its zenith in 1853 in correspondence with a large-scale display of daguerreotypes at the New York Crystal Palace Exhibition. Nevertheless, the popularity of the daguerreotype began to wane in 1853 with the introduction of the wet plate collodion negative process that allowed for image production on paper, glass, and iron for relatively less cost. By 1858, only a trickle of photographic studios continued to specialize in the process, and by the late 1860s the daguerreotype had become an outmoded and soon to be forgotten photographic technique.

The nature of the daguerreotype method created a one-of-a-kind image. To create a daguerreotype, a thin copper plate coated with silver and polished to a mirror-like reflectivity was sensitized with iodine and then placed in a camera where it was exposed to light. To develop the image, the plate was held over highly-toxic mercury vapor fumes until the image appeared and then fixed with salt (hyposulfite of soda).

Modern daguerreotypes are made in much the same way as they were in the 19th century. They are now considered an art form as each daguerreotype is unique and multiple copies are not able to be reproduced.

Ambrotype 1854-circa 1865 .

The ambrotype process was patented in 1854 and enjoyed great popularity for a few short years, and again during the Civil War. It produced pictures on glass instead of metal plates. Like the earlier daguerreotype, each image is unique, made one-at-a-time in the camera. The glass is flowed with a sticky material known as iodized collodion. It is then sensitized by being dipped into a bath of silver nitrate, and exposed in the camera while still wet. A chemical developer is used to bring out the image. The glass plate is then backed with black material-paint, cloth or paper, and furnished in a case similar to those used for daguerreotypes. The ambrotype process was marketed as an improvement, because the finished image lacked the glittery, elusive reflective quality of daguerreotypes and was therefore easier to view. The detail and tonal range, however, tend to be less impressive than in the earlier process.

With its popularity peaking from 1855 to 1856, the ambrotype’s popularity began to decline in 1857 with the commanding acceptance of paper photography and the mounting favor of the ambrotype’s relatively cheaper and sturdier wet collodion photographic cousin, the tintype. Although ambrotypes continued to be produced until 1865, they become rare by 1861.

Tintype 1856-1920s .

The 1856 American invention of the “japanned” iron plate, a thin iron plate brushed with a boiled varnish of black lacquer composed modestly of asphaltum (tar), linseed oil and ample amounts of lampblack color and precedingly oven-dried to an exceptionally hard consistency, would lead to the cheapest and most favored photographic process of the nineteenth century within the nation: the ferrotype (the prefix “ferro” referencing to the iron support), more commonly known as the tintype despite the absence of tin.

Into the last decade of the nineteenth century, the tintype remained America's most popular photographic medium for personal portraits, due to the nominal expense of supplies and equipment along with the minimal training required by tintype “operators.” The tintype can be considered a distinctively American form of photography. The process’s peak years coincided with the American Civil War due to durability, allowing them to be easily mailed and carried in soldiers’ pockets on the battlefield. The tintype’s popularity also sprang from its instantaneous exposure and comparatively short processing time of only ten minutes, in comparison to the twenty to thirty minute wait for a finished daguerreotype.

Although the tintype endured as a novelty item into the 1920s, its popularity began to wane around 1890 with a series of technical and manufacturing innovations by the Eastman Kodak Company, including the introduction in 1889 of the first commercial transparent roll film and the advent of the easy-to-use snapshot camera.

Pannotype circa 1853-1860s .

Photographic images can be made on any absorbent fabric that can be sensitized with light-sensitive emulsions, such as on silk, satin, leather, or linen. Fabric prints were popular primarily from the art form's invention in 1839 to the early 1860s. A pannotype is a direct-positive wet collodion , or collodion transfer , made by stripping the collodion emulsion from a glass plate and transferring the image to a silver sensitized piece of black waxed linen (oilcloth) or japanned /patent leather. A japanned piece of leather would reference the application of a boiled varnish of black lacquer composed of asphaltum (tar), linseed oil, and ample amounts of lampblack color and precedingly oven-dried to a hard consistency.

Pannotypes were unusual even during their time of production (circa 1853-early 1860s), attractive primarily to wealthier clientele and desirable for their ability to suffer less from being bent and, thus, especially suitable for enclosure in letters. While the cloth support was no more expensive to produce, it was less economical in the long run than paper photography since multiples could be made from a single glass negative while the pannotype was a singular picture unable of being copied. This was likely a factor in the rapid abandonment of the pannotype process. Pannotypes are even more rare photographic curiosities today due to the fragility and deterioration of the black waxed linen and leather supports.

Cyanotype 1842-1930s .

Cyanotypes were first invented by Sir John Hershel of England in 1842, and were most popular from 1842-1848 and from 1885-1895. The name is derived from the Greek word meaning “dark blue impression,” cyanotypes are a relatively simple and inexpensive non-silver process. To make a cyanotype print, a photographic negative was placed in direct contact with a sheet of paper or cloth pre-soaked in a solution of light-sensitive iron salts, and was exposed in direct sunlight. A simple wash in a bath of water permanently fixed the image. The final photograph is blue.

It was mainly used by amateurs and for documentation of industrial products and for print proofs.

Crayon/Charcoal Enlargement circa early 1850s-circa 1915 .

In the early 1850s, photographers began for the first time to produce enlarged photographic images by utilizing reflectors or copying lens to transfer beams of sunlight through a glass plate negative and onto a large piece of albumen paper. The first practical solar enlarger was patented in America in 1857, and by the mid-1860s, solar enlargers were common fixtures on the roofs and windows of major photographic studios around the nation.

The enlarged crayon or charcoal portrait was produced by placing a wet-collodion glass negative exposed with the likeness of the sitter into a solar enlarger, whose adjustable mirror collected sunbeams from outside the window and printed the image onto the albumen paper. The portrait was lightly printed to produce a weakened, or dim, image on the paper to then act as a guide for reworking with either crayon, chalk or some other medium. An alternate method was to fully develop the portrait on the paper and, following the hand-retouching, the silver image was removed by “a chemical treatment.” While the exact chemistry at present time is unknown, it has been proposed that a diluted bleach, such as sulfuric acid, was used to remove the photographic image; thereby, giving the appearance of a hand-drawn or painted portrait.

These large-scale pictures were intended to be hung on the wall. This development encouraged photographs to adopt some of the aesthetic criteria associated with drawings and paintings. The print was then hand-accented with chalk or crayon, and sometimes ink or pastel, thereby giving the finished product an appearance of a drawing or painting.

Autochrome 1907-1930s .

The Autochrome was patented in 1903 by the Lumière brothers in France and first marketed in 1907; it was the principal color photography process in use before the advent of subtractive color film in the mid-1930s. Autochrome plates are covered in microscopic red, green and blue-violet colored potato starch grains (about four million per square inch). When the photograph is taken, light passes through these color filters to the photographic emulsion. The plate is processed to produce a positive transparency. Light, passing through the colored starch grains, combines to recreate a full color image of the original subject. The glass plate Autochrome was most commonly viewed in a diascope, which was a folding case with the Autochrome image and a ground glass diffuser fitted into an opening on one side, and a mirror framed into the other side. The user would place the diascope near a window or other light source so that light passed through the diffuser and the Autochrome, and the resulting back-lit, dark-surrounded image would be viewed in the mirror.

Chromolithograph 1820-1930

In the mid to late 19th century, at the height of commercial color lithographic printing, color lithographs began to be known as chromolithographs. The term color lithograph was then reserved for the work of artists or “up-market” prints. In either case, making a color print required a separate stone for each color to be printed; up to twenty stones could be used. Typically, an outline of the image was drawn in red chalk (which was visible but not receptive to ink) and transferred to each stone. The colors were then separated by eye and transferred to the stone by a technician or artist referred to as the color-separator. The color was sometimes built up by layering colors, but often it was built up using a range of hues and tones of the same color. The ink was applied using the same techniques used in monochromatic lithography. In the mid to late 19th century, stippling (applying dots with a pen) became a common technique, giving color lithographs a dotted appearance.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of various types of early photographic technologies invented prior to the twentieth century. Examples of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cyanotypes, autochromes, a pannotype, and a crayon/charcoal enlargement are included.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and occasionally tintypes (circa 1856-1862) were protected within a small case intended to be held in one’s hand. The brass mat frames —whose contoured interior shapes, textures and ornately embossed or acid-etched patterns varied with time, aesthetically enhanced the sitter’s image and shielded the image from direct contact with the protective cover glass on top. A thin, ornamental strip of brass known as a preserver would surround and bind together the photograph, brass mat, and cover glass prior to placement within a case. This bound bundle including the cover glass, photograph, brass mat and preserver was known as the package.

The "plate sizes" used in referring to 19th-century daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and other photographs stem originally from the daguerreotype, for which the first plates manufactured were approximately 6.5 x 8.5 inches (16.5 x 21.5 cm) in size. Smaller size daguerreotypes were then defined in terms of how many plates of the smaller size could be cut from such a "full" or "whole" plate. These plate sizes became standardized and were subsequently used for the photographic formats which followed on the daguerreotype. Plate sizes are still the standard method for referring to the dimensions of these 19th century images. The following are approximate 19th-Century image plate sizes: Whole Plate: 6.5 x 8.5 inches (16.5 x 21.5 cm), Half Plate: 4.25 x 5.5 inches (11 x 14 cm), Quarter Plate: 3.25 x 4.25 inches (8 x 11 cm), Sixth Plate: 2.75 x 3.25 inches (7 x 8 cm), Ninth Plate: 2 x 2.5 inches (5 x 6 cm), Sixteenth Plate: 1.375 x 1.625 inches (3.5 x 4 cm).

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Daguerreotypes, 1839-late 1860sReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box item
4 DA1
 Portrait of two young men and three young women
Quarter-plate (approximately 3-1/8" x 4-1/8") daguerreotype.Protected in brown thermoplastic (varnish/shellac, sawdust, pigments) Union case with classical motifs (delicate acanthus scrolls, tiny cherub heads in center oval medallion). Case created by A.P. Critchlow & Co. (Florence, Massachusetts), circa 1856-1857. Original component parts, created circa early 1850s: clear protective glass plate, brass rounded-corner rectangular mat ("double elliptical") stamped with crosshatching, narrow embossed decorative brass preserver, deep maroon velvet cover pad.Image Condition: Severely faded; scattered spotting; slight oxide (white film) ring along borders.Case Condition: Good condition.
between 1839 and 1840
2 DA2
 Portrait of mother and child
Sixth-plate (approximately 2-5/8" x 3-1/4") daguerreotype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks and gold gilt accents on jewelry.Protected in wood-framed brown leather case with lightly-embossed rose bouquet medallion motif, created circa 1847-1848. Original package parts, created circa 1847-1848: clear protective glass plate, brass rounded-corner rectangular mat ("double elliptical") with matte finish, narrow embossed decorative brass preserver, blush-colored velvet cover pad.Image Condition: Solar tarnish ring along borders, especially at top; scattered spotting.Case Condition: Scuffed away portions of leather at edges, especially along case's spine.
circa 1847-1848
2 DA3
 Portrait of young woman
Sixth-plate (approximately 2-5/8" x 3-1/4") daguerreotype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Protected in wood-framed dark brown leather case with lightly-embossed tulip motif, created circa 1842-1850s. Package parts, created circa 1850s: clear protective glass plate, decorative brass oval mat with matte finish, narrow embossed decorative brass preserver, cranberry-colored velvet cover pad embossed with intricate geometric floral and geometric motifs.Image Condition: Slight scattered spotting.Case Condition: Small patches of scuffed away leather on front.
circa 1856-1858
2 DA4
 Portrait of woman possibly holding a fan
Approximately 3" x 2 ½" daguerreotype. Gold gilt accents on earrings and necklace.Protected in dark leather case with flaps and brass corner decorations.Package parts: clear protective glass plate, decorative brass oval mat with matte finish, narrow embossed decorative brass preserver, red velvet cover pad.Image Condition: Solar tarnish ring around image; scattered spotting; scratches.Case Condition: Worn leather, left side flap is not attached, top right-hand corner decoration is missing.
undated
2 DA5
 Portrait of Miss Carolyn Northrup
Approximately 3" x 2 ½" daguerreotype. Gold gilt accents on ring and brooch. Note inside of case reads: Miss Carolyn Northrup died 1862. My aunt, Mary W. Hill.Protected in wood-framed brown leather case with lightly-embossed floral motif.Package parts: clear protective glass plate, decorative brass mat with matte finish, narrow embossed decorative brass preserver, cranberry-colored velvet cover pad embossed with intricate geometric floral motifs.Image Condition: Good.Case Condition: Slightly worn leather, residue from glue on note stuck to velvet.
before 1862

Modern DaguerreotypesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box item
6a MD1
Shell Study no. 8: daguerreotype of shell
Ken Nelson, Bainbridge Island, Washington (photographer)
Ken Nelson holds degrees in art photography and photographic history, as well as a certificate in photograph conservation. He is a renowned specialist in the daguerreotype process, and has taught with the George Eastman House’s Historic Photographic Process Workshops.Mounted in 8 x 10 black wood frame.
2008
6b MD2
Giant Clam and Abalone: daguerreotype of two shells
Ken Nelson, Bainbridge Island, Washington (photographer)
Mounted in 8 x 10 black wood frame.
2010

Ambrotypes, 1854-circa 1865Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box item
3 AM1
 Portrait of young girl (possibly from Illinois)
Ninth-plate (approximately 2" x 2-1/2") ambrotype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Protected in wood-framed dark brown leather case with lightly-embossed oriental arabesque motif, created circa 1850-1855. Original package parts, created circa 1854-1855: clear protective glass plate, decorative "nonpareil" brass mat with matte finish and a string of tiny stamped dots following contours of the interior frame, narrow decorative embossed brass preserver with inward points at corners and sides, pale red-orange velvet cover pad embossed with intricate scrolling designs.Image Condition: Good condition.Case Condition: Front and back are unattached (ripped spine).
circa 1854-1855
3 AM2
 Portrait of D.B.W.
Sixteenth-plate (approximately1-3/8" x 1-5/8") ambrotype. Protected in wood-framed dark brown leather case with lightly-embossed spray of flowers in medallion motif, and gold gilt painted double helix on borders (front/back, inside). Created circa 1854. Original package parts, created circa 1854: clear protective glass plate, decorative "nonpareil" brass mat with intricate acid-etched floral design, narrow embossed decorative brass preserver, cranberry-colored velvet cover pad embossed with quatrefoil flower motif.Image Condition: Severe dulling from abundant spotting.Case Condition: Front and back are unattached (ripped spine).
circa 1854
1 AM3
 Copy portrait of elderly man
Full-plate (approximately 6-1/2" x 8-1/2") ambrotype. Protected in wood-framed dark brown leather "Eichmeyer band 'book'" case with two formidable brass hinge-clasp closures. Lightly-embossed geometric designs. Heavily-embossed with two raised double bands embossed with double helixes positioned at top and bottom, and encircle front and back. Gold gilt bands line the top and bottom edges (front/back). Right-most side upon which hinges and clasps attached rounded. Case created by Henry A. Eichmeyer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), circa 1855-1856. Original package parts, created circa 1855-1856: clear protective glass plate, decorative brass oval mat with intricate acid-etched floral design and matte finish, narrow and straight decorative brass preserver embossed with simple pattern, maroon-colored velvet cover pad.Image Condition: Black varnish on backside of glass plate has been scratched or flaked away in several locations, revealing a metallic gold surface underneath.Case Condition: Minor patches of scuffed leather along spine.Package Condition: Lower left corner of preserver is missing.
circa 1855-1856
3 AM4
 Portrait of young woman from the Von Scheliha family
Ninth-plate (approximately 2" x 2-1/2") ambrotype. Original package parts, created circa 1856-1858: decorative oval brass mat with stamped pansies at four corners, narrow embossed brass preserver with simple floral pattern.Image Condition: Black varnish on backside of glass plate has been scratched or flaked away in several locations.
circa 1856-1858
3 AM5
 Portrait of Delos Waterman
Sixth-plate (approximately 2-5/8" x 3-1/4") ambrotype. No mat, preserver, or cover glass.Image Condition: Good condition. Reveals the commonplace rough cuts of glass plates and the slapdash application of the collodion emulsion.
circa 1856-1858
3 AM6
 Portrait of young woman
Quarter-plate (approximately 3-1/8" x 4-1/8") ambrotype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Protected in original package, created circa 1857-1858: decorative brass oval mat with stamped floral design, narrow embossed decorative brass preserver.Image Condition: Good condition.
circa 1857-1858
3 AM7
 Portrait of infant girl (possibly from Illinois)
Ninth-plate (approximately 2" x 2-1/2") ambrotype. Protected in wood-framed dark brown leather case with lightly-embossed oriental motif, created circa 1847-1855. Original package parts, created circa 1858: clear protective glass plate, decorative "nonpareil" brass mat with embossed flower bouquets at four corners and a string of diamonds following the contours of the interior frame, narrow embossed brass preserver deeply embossed with leafs with inward points at corners and sides, dusty orange-red velvet cover pad embossed with intricate scrolling leafs. Lock of hair twisted and pinned to center of cover pad.Image Condition: Severe solar tarnish halo encroaches on image.Case Condition: Backside of case has large portions of leather peeled away.
circa 1858
3 AM8
 Portrait of young man holding book
Quarter-plate (approximately 3-1/8" x 4-1/8") ambrotype.Protected in wood-framed dark brown leather case with lightly-embossed rose-variant motif, created circa 1854-1858. Original package parts, created circa 1858: clear protective glass plate, decorative oval brass mat with matte finish, narrow decorative embossed brass preserver, mustard-colored velvet cover pad embossed with intricate scrolling leaves.Image Condition: Good condition.Case Condition: Front and back are loosely attached (spine ripped halfway). Cover pad completely unglued from support (attached only by an inserted flap at binding edge).
circa 1858

Tintypes, 1856-1920sReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/1 TN1
 Portrait of man wearing straw hat
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 2-3/10" x 3-4/10") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Image Condition: Chipped emulsion along crease in middle of image. Circular puffed area in lower left corner. Scored line indicating placement for oval window of card mount on back side.
circa 1860
1/1 TN2
 Portrait of man with full beard wearing fur hat
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 2-1/2" x 3-1/4") tintype.Image Condition: Scored line indicating placement for oval window of card mount. Teal-colored line butting bottom edge of plate.
circa 1860-1867
1/1 TN3
 Portrait of young boy riding donkey outdoors, with African-American man holding reigns
Sixth-plate (approximately 2-5/8" x 3-1/4") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheek of boy.Image Condition: Good condition.
circa 1863-1865
1/1 TN4
 Portrait of man with full beard and watch chain
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 2-3/4" x 4") tintype.Image Condition: Multiple creases. Chipped emulsion along some bends throughout surface. Teal-colored line butting bottom edge of plate.
circa 1865-1869
1/1 TN5
 Jacob Stone store along railroad tracks
Unstandardized plate size (5" x 7") tintype. Image is reversed.Image Condition: Good condition.
circa 1865-1880
1/2 TN6
 Portrait of woman with long spiral hairstyle falling over her shoulder
Sixth- plate size (approximately 2-5/8" x 3-1/4") tintype.Image Condition: Bubbled emulsion at base. Chips in emulsion along bottom border.
circa 1866-1872
1/2 TN7
 Portrait of seated man flanked by two standing women
Unstandardized plate size (2" x 3-3/10") tintype.Image Condition: Severe cracking, darkening and bubbling of emulsion. Spotted paper remnants on backside.
circa 1870-1873
1/2 TN8
 Portrait of young girl in checkered dress, 11 years old (1)
Unstandardized plate size (1-1/4" x 1-1/2") tintype.Mounted in a picture-envelope with a circle window and unelaborate stamped decoration. Image Condition: Good condition.Girl pictured is the same as in TN9.
circa 1870-1873
1/2 TN9
 Portrait of young girl in checkered dress, 11 years old (2)
Unstandardized plate size (1-1/4" x 1-1/2") tintype.Mounted in a picture-envelope with a circle window and unelaborate stamped decoration. Image Condition: Scratches. Large chip in emulsion along bend in upper left corner. "11 years" handwritten on interior flap of picture-envelope.Girl pictured is the same as in TN8.
circa 1870-1873
1/2 TN10
 Portrait of woman with pendant earrings
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 4" x 5-5/8") tintype on chocolate plate. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Mounted in pale pink paper picture envelope with top-hinged seal-flap with rectangular window (rounded corners) and decorated with printed beige lines surrounding window.Image Condition: Some scratches and dents. Fragment of newspaper clipping attached to backside reading: "NICHOLS',/ 735 BROADWAY, N./ All kinds of/ Pictures Copied."Card Mount Condition: Good condition.Woman is also pictured in TN11.The chocolate plate emerged on the tintype scene in June of 1869 in Worcester, Massachusetts under the manufacturing of Phoenix/Phoenix Plate Company. An independent U.S. patent was issued in March of 1870 for the production of chocolate plates, in which the iron plate was coated with an India red and linseed oil varnish. Chocolate plates were highly successful, as they were heralded to provide "a more lifelike appearance" to flesh and provide "more delicate shading" to drapery.
circa 1870-1874
1/2 TN11
 Portrait of woman with floral lace wrap
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 4" x 5-5/8") tintype on chocolate plate. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Mounted in pale pink paper picture envelope with top-hinged seal-flap with rectangular window (rounded corners) and decorated with printed beige lines surrounding window.Image Condition: Scratches and dents.Card Mount Condition: Some stains and dents. Top-flap seam ripped approximately 1" from left side.Woman is also pictured in TN10.The chocolate plate emerged on the tintype scene in June of 1869 in Worcester, Massachusetts under the manufacturing of Phoenix/Phoenix Plate Company. An independent U.S. patent was issued in March of 1870 for the production of chocolate plates, in which the iron plate was coated with an India red and linseed oil varnish. Chocolate plates were highly successful, as they were heralded to provide "a more lifelike appearance" to flesh and provide "more delicate shading" to drapery.
circa 1870-1874
1/3 TN12
 Portrait of Matilda E. McNeal
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 1-1/2" x 2-2/10") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Tintype inserted into light blue card stock "Philadelphia Carte Envelope" with oval window and decorated with metallic gold printed design. Manufactured likely by Nixon & Stokes (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) circa 1870-1880.Protected in a thin buff-colored card stock "Philadelphia Carte Envelope" with arch-top window and decorated with printed red design, backed with thin lavender-colored paper. Manufactured likely by Nixon & Stokes (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) circa 1870-1880. Image Condition: Slight bend across middle.
circa 1870-1880
1/3 TN13
 Group portrait of James B. Beals and family, with telescope, lobster, and clamshell
Johnson's National Gallery (Washington, D.C.) (photographer)
Unstandardized plate size (2-1/2" x 3-1/2") tintype on chocolate plate. Mounted in a shiny light blue card stock "Philadelphia Carte Envelope" with oval window and decorated with printed red design, backed with thin lavender-colored paper. Manufactured likely by Nixon & Stokes (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) circa 1870-1880. Front of lavender flap depicts black-stamped image of two Victorian-dressed long-haired girls peering into a mirror with the name of the photographic studio penned on the back, reading "Johnson's National Gallery, 809 Pa. Ave., Washingt'n D. C."Image Condition: Some scratches and dents.Card Mount Condition: Minor wear along corners of light blue card stock. Front lavender-colored paper flap is ripped along seam and held in place by a small vertical strip of Scotch tape at the base. "James B. Beals," "Katherine Beals," and "Caroline Beals" are the three legible names listed of six penned in cursive (pencil) on the interior flap of the lavender colored-paper. "James B. Beals" is written in pencil on the backside of the card mount. The chocolate plate emerged on the tintype scene in June of 1869 in Worcester, Massachusetts under the manufacturing of Phoenix/Phoenix Plate Company. An independent U.S. patent was issued in March of 1870 for the production of chocolate plates, in which the iron plate was coated with an India red and linseed oil varnish. Chocolate plates were highly successful, as they were heralded to provide "a more lifelike appearance" to flesh and provide "more delicate shading" to drapery.
circa 1872-1874
1/3 TN14
  Portrait of two women standing behind two seated men
Half- plate size (approximately 4-1/2" x 5-1/2") tintype.Image Condition: Teal-colored line butting bottom edge of plate. Remnants of glued paper on front corners and along backside of plate.
circa 1872-1878
1/3 TN15
 Portrait of two men in front of conservatory studio backdrop
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3-1/2" x 5") tintype.Mounted in a white-colored cardstock envelope with rectangular window (rounded corners) and decorated with printed black ink design and broken line surrounding the window. Image Condition: Scratches. Upper right corner bent.Card Mount Condition: Right window bar missing. Ripped at corners of window. Multiple creases. Back mounted paper is brittle.
circa 1873-1880
1/4 TN16
 Group portrait with six young women and four young men
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3-1/2" x 5") tintype.Image Condition: Patch of bubbled and chipped emulsion along upper left perimeter.
circa 1873-1882
1/4 TN17
 Portrait of woman in studio holding architectural banister
Sixth-plate (approximately 2-5/8" x 3-1/4") tintype. Sandy texture to surface.Image Condition: Scored line indicating placement for oval window of card mount. Avocado-colored line butting top edge of plate.
circa 1873-1886
1/4 TN18
 Portrait of man seated holding homburg hat, flanked by two women wearing straw hats
Unstandardized plate size (2-1/2" x 3-1/2") tintype.Image Condition: Some dents.
circa 1873-1886
1/4 TN19
 Portrait of John Conrad
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3-1/4" x 4-8/10") tintype.Image Condition: Patches of missing emulsion along the upper right vertical border of the image, exposing the metallic iron plate below. Slight oxide (white film) smears along upper border. Minor scratches.John Conrad is also the subject of TN20.
circa 1876-1880
1/5 TN20
 Portrait of John Conrad
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3-1/4" x 4-8/10") tintype.Mounted in a buff-colored paper envelope with arch-top window and decorated with printed red ink design and broken line surrounding the window, salmon-colored paper and flap. Manufactured likely by S. Wing & Company (Charlestown, Massachusetts) circa 1876-1885.Image Condition: Minor scratches.Card Mount Condition: "John Conrad" is written in cursive (pencil) on the interior flap of the salmon-colored paper.John Conrad is also the subject of TN19.
circa 1876-1880
1/5 TN21
 Portrait of James E. Luckey
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3-1/2" x 5") tintype.Mounted in a buff-colored paper envelope with arch-top window and decorated with printed red ink design and broken line surrounding the window, salmon-colored paper and flap. Manufactured likely by S. Wing & Company (Charlestown, Massachusetts) circa 1876-1885.Image Condition: Minor scratches. Patches of missing emulsion along right vertical border of the image, exposing the metallic iron plate below. Slight oxide (white film) smears along upper border. Scored line indicating placement for arch-top window of card mount.Card Mount Condition: "John Conrad" is written in cursive (pencil) on the interior flap of the salmon-colored paper.
circa 1876-1880
1/5 TN22
 Portrait of girl seated on upholstered chair in studio landscape setting
Unstandardized plate size (2" x 3-3/10") tintype.Image Condition: Slight scratching.
circa 1878-1883
1/5 TN23
 Portrait of two young women and two young men in studio landscape setting
Unstandardized plate size (3-1/4" x 5") tintype on chocolate plate. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks. Image Condition: Good condition, slight creasing.The chocolate plate emerged on the tintype scene in June of 1869 in Worcester, Massachusetts under the manufacturing of Phoenix/Phoenix Plate Company. An independent U.S. patent was issued in March of 1870 for the production of chocolate plates, in which the iron plate was coated with an India red and linseed oil varnish. Chocolate plates were highly successful, as they were heralded to provide "a more life-like appearance" to flesh and provide "more delicate shading" to drapery.
circa 1880-84
1/5 TN24
Number not used
1/6 TN25
 Portrait of Margaret Ann Carr Conklin
Anthony Pittman Carr (photographer)
Unstandardized plate size (6-8/10" x 10") tintype. Hand-tinted flesh tones to face, "rouge" to cheeks and lips. Hand-painted white decorative accents to collar. Black hand-painted drapery and button accents on dress. Hand-painted gold gilt accents to brooch and pendant earrings. Background painted with gray paint, sandy texture.No mount. Image Condition: Stain indicating oval window of mat.
circa 1883-1887
1/7 TN26
 Portrait of infant against ornately-patterned drapery
Unstandardized plate size (1-4/10" x 4") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Image Condition: Good condition.
circa 1883-89
1/7 TN27
 Family in front of house
Unstandardized plate size (4-3/4" x 3-4/10") tintype.Image Condition: Slight scratching, dents.
circa 1883-1895
1/7 TN28
 Portrait of woman with puff of silk ribbon extending from collar
Gem size (approximately 3/4" x 1") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Image Condition: Bubbled emulsion at base. Chips in emulsion along bottom border.Tiny gem plate portraits became available with the revolutionary invention of the multiple-lens camera in 1860, which allowed the photographer to easily make a large number of images on a single plate. Gem portraits were not made in quantity prior to 1863 when miniature size became popular for portraits during the American Civil War for their ease of being carried in the mail.
circa 1885-1887
1/7 TN29
 Portrait of three young men with high-wheel bicycles
Quarter-plate (approximately 3-1/8" x 4-1/8") tintype.Mounted in a peach-colored cardboard photographic card frame/mount with elliptical window, and printed with floral vines at corners and broken line surrounding window. Image Condition: Slight scratches and spotting. Bent horizontally half-inch down from top. Bubbled emulsion at base.Card Mount Condition: Minor bending. Pinholes at top and bottom. "PRINCETON NJ" scribed in pencil along bottom.
circa 1885-1890
1/8 TN30
 Portrait of two young women (likely sisters)
Sixth-plate (approximately 2-5/8" x 3-1/4") tintype.Image Condition: Small dried liquid blotches on backside.Women are also pictured in TN31.
circa 1892-1894
1/8 TN31
 Portrait of family
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 2-3/4" x 3-1/2") tintype.Image Condition: Smearing of emulsion along right vertical border.Two women standing are also pictured in TN30.
circa 1895
1/8 TN32
 Portrait of Captain John August Mattson
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 2-4/8" x 3-1/2") tintype.Tintype inserted into sage green lightweight card stock card mount envelope with arch-top window and decorated with stamped red printed design.Image Condition: Chocolate brown colored paint splotches on backside.Card Mount Condition: Minor wear along corners of sage green lightweight card stock. Front beige-colored paper flap is ripped three-quarters of full length along seam. "Capt. John August Mattson 1906" is written in cursive (pencil) under card mount window.
circa 1906-1910
1/8 TN33
 Portrait of a woman sitting on bench in front of studio beach scene backdrop
Pach Bros., Long Branch and Ocean Grove, New Jersey (photographer)
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 6-1/4" x 4") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Tintype inserted into faded pink lightweight card stock. Front paper flap is ripped half of full length along seam.Image Condition: Good
undated
Box
4 TN34
Album of Tintype Portraits
This is a small (approximately 5-1/2" x 4") album containing 44 tintype portraits. The album is in poor condition, with the front cover completely detached. Label on inside cover reads: S.E. Young & Co. Watches, Jewelry, Cutlery, Fancy Goods. 114 Main St. Laconia, New Hampshire. The tintypes could be members of the same extended family or possibly a collection by the photographer, due to many of the photos being taken in the same studio using the same props.
undated
Box item
4 TN34-1
Young man standing next to podium
undated
4 TN34-2
Two men seated next to each other
undated
4 TN34-3 undated
4 TN34-4
Portrait of couple; man standing holding top hat with hand on shoulder of seated woman
undated
4 TN34-5
Woman standing next to chair holding flowered hat
undated
4 TN34-6
Young man sitting on rope swing in studio
undated
4 TN34-7
Two small children standing next to each other
Photo is slightly blurry on left side.
undated
4 TN34-8
Portrait of couple; woman standing with hand on shoulder of seated man holding a top hat
undated
4 TN34-9
Young girl standing next to older seated woman
undated
4 TN34-10
Woman sitting on chair
undated
4 TN34-11
Young man sitting on chair
undated
4 TN34-12
Two young men seated next to each other
undated
4 TN34-13
Young woman standing next to chair
undated
4 TN34-14
Young man sitting in chair
undated
4 TN34-15
Couple seated next to each other
undated
4 TN34-16
Woman standing with her hand on shoulder of seated man
undated
4 TN34-17
Man standing next to chair
undated
4 TN34-18
Young woman with hands folded together
undated
4 TN34-19
Woman sitting in chair
undated
4 TN34-20
Two women sitting arm in arm
undated
4 TN34-21
Portrait of a baby
undated
4 TN34-22
Woman standing next to chair
undated
4 TN34-23
Man sitting in chair
undated
4 TN34-24
Young woman holding an umbrella or parasol
undated
4 TN34-25
Male toddler probably being held by his mother (person not visible)
undated
4 TN34-26
Portrait of a woman
undated
4 TN34-27
Man standing next to chair
undated
4 TN34-28
Young man wearing hat sitting in chair
undated
4 TN34-29
Young woman sitting in chair
Tintype has scratches.
undated
4 TN34-30
Man standing next to table
undated
4 TN34-31
Young woman sitting in chair
undated
4 TN34-32
Young man with beard
undated
4 TN34-33
Woman standing behind young girl with hands on her shoulders
undated
4 TN34-34
Young child sitting in chair
undated
4 TN34-35
Couple sitting together arm in arm
undated
4 TN34-36
Woman standing with her hand on shoulder of seated man
undated
4 TN34-37
Portrait of young man
undated
4 TN34-38
Portrait of man
undated
4 TN34-39
Woman standing next to chair
undated
4 TN34-40
Two young women wearing scarves
undated
4 TN34-41
Woman sitting in chair
undated
4 TN34-42
Portrait of man with moustache
undated
4 TN34-43
Baby under a blanket
undated
4 TN34-44
Woman sitting in chair
undated
Box/Folder
1/8 TN35
 Man standing next to tree with birdhouse in studio
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 2 1/4" x 3 1/4") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks and gold gilt decorative accents on vest.No mount.Image Condition: Good with slight scratches.
undated
1/11 TN36
 Two young girls seated in studio
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3 1/16" x 1 7/8") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks Mounted in white card stock.Image Condition: Good.
undated
1/11 TN37
 Couple seated in studio
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3 1/4" x 2") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Mounted in beige card stock.Image Condition: Good.
undated
1/11 TN38
 Young man standing in studio
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3 5/8" x 2 3/8") tintype. Hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.No mount.Image Condition: Good.
undated
1/11 TN39
 Woman standing in studio
Unstandardized plate size (approximately 3 1/4" x 2" ) tintype. Very faint hand-tinted "rouge" on cheeks.Mounted in beige card stock with embossed design around image.Image Condition: Good.
undated
Box
4 TN40
Album
This is a small (approximately 4 3/4" x 3 ½") album containing 11 tintype portraits and one portrait on paper.Written on inside front cover: Presented to A. G. Spence Feb. 15, 1874 at West Milton, Ohio. Mary Locke. Written on inside rear cover: Sunday, June 7th, 1874, A. G. Spence went walking with E.F. M---fields and Jennie Spence and Frank Wormby and Ann Smith and Ida Smith.
undated
Box item
4 TN40-1
George S. and A.G. Spence
undated
4 TN40-2
Young woman standing in studio
undated
4 TN40-3
Woman standing with hand on shoulder of seated man
undated
4 TN40-4
Young woman
undated
4 TN40-5
Woman wearing cross at her neck
undated
4 TN40-6
Young woman
undated
4 TN40-7
Two men wearing hats
undated
4 TN40-8 undated
4 TN40-9
Young girl standing next to young boy sitting in high chair
undated
4 TN40-10
Young boy standing next to table holding a hat
undated
4 TN40-11
Young girl seated next to table
undated
4 TN40-12 undated
Box/Folder
1/12 TN41
 Man and woman in studio with stereocard viewer and stereocard
Whole plate size (approximately 8" x 6 1/4" ) tintype. Image Condition: Good, with some creases.
undated
1/13 TN42a-b
 Portraits of Andrew D. Olmstead
Andrew D. Olmstead was born in 1846 and died in 1917.
between 1875 and 1890?

Pannotypes, circa 1853-1880Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder item
1/9 PN1
 Portrait of woman (possibly a member of the Grunbaum family)
As was common with pannotypes, this piece is small (2-1/2” x 3-1/2”) and bears an impression of a flattened arch frame around the picture area of the image, evidence that the portrait was meant to have a special setting in an album or, more likely, in a small folding protective case.
circa 1853-early 1860s

Cyanotypes, 1842-1930sReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
box:oversize item
5 CY1
 Mt. Rainier or Mt. Tacoma
C. B. Talbot (photographer)
8" x 11" cyanotype. Overall dimensions with frame, approximately 15-1/2" x 12-1/2".Contemporary wood frame painted in muted blue and metallic silver.Image Condition: Good condition. Written within image: Bottom left corner, "C. B. Talbot, 1886. Portland, OR. Tacoma"; Centered along bottom border, "Puyallup Ind. Agcy."; Bottom right corner, "Mt. Ranier or Mt. Tacoma: 14,444 FT." Please note that the misspelling of "Ranier" is by error of the photographer.The image is one of a set of cyanotypes photographed by C. B. Talbot for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Note with photo: Talbot was not a professional photographer. He was an engineer for the Northern Pacific Railroad and worked in the Tacoma area for a few years during the 1880s. He was an amateur photographer and took blueprint photographs mostly of the building of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He also took scenics of Tacoma, Mt. Rainier, and Western Washington. The Washington State Historical Society has an image showing the equipment used for blueprint photographs. It was quite bulky.
1886
Box/Folder
1/10 CY2
 The Albert Memorial in London
3 ½" x 4 1/4" cyanotype. Image Condition: Good; top and bottom edges are folded over to the back side.
circa 1890s
1/10 CY3
 Rudolf von Erlach statue in the Munsterplatz, Bern, Switzerland
5" x 4" cyanotype. Image Condition: Good condition.
circa 1890s
1/10 CY4
 Landscape of mountain range
6 3/4" x 4 1/2"cyanotype. Image Condition: Good condition.
circa 1890s
1/10 CY5
 Ruins of San Antonio Mission, Monterey County, California
8 1/4" x 6 ½" cyanotype.Image Condition: Good condition. Written on verso: The distant mountain in background is Santa Lucia Peak (5967 feet), 15 miles away.
1896
1/10 CY6
 Building used as first schoolhouse in Olympia
5" x 4" cyanotype.Image Condition: Good condition; faded. Written on verso: The oldest building now standing in Olympia, as it was originally. Built in '51 [or '61]. The first church services and first school ever in Thurston Co. were held in this building. At one time seven families lived in this house. Contributed by Miss Addie Wood whose father, R. D. Wood, still owns the building, using it for a workshop.
undated
1/10 CY7
 Great Northern Railway station in Spokane, Washington
Approx. 5" x 4" cyanotype.Image Condition: Good condition.
undated
1/10 CY8
 Possibly Spokane River and buildings, Washington
Approx. 5" x 4" cyanotype.Image Condition: Good condition; ragged cut edges.
undated
1/10 CY9
 Bridge over Spokane River, Washington
Approx. 5" x 4" cyanotype.Image Condition: Good condition
undated
1/10 CY10
 Large building, probably next to Spokane River
Approx. 5" x 4" cyanotype.Image Condition: Good condition
undated
box:oversize
KVXC1 CY11
Merchants National Bank and surrounding buildings, Seattle, Washington
Approx. 8 ½" x 7 1/4" cyanotype mounted on paper measuring 14-1/4" x 11-1/4"
undated

Crayon/Charcoal Enlargement, circa early 1850s-circa 1915Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
box:oversize item
XD3 CR1
  Portrait of man wearing bow tie
Approximately 16" x 20" crayon/charcoal enlargement.Image Condition: Photographic paper mounted on heavy card stock. Small rips to top layer of paper surrounding image. Significant rip and puncture along left border approximately 1/3 down from top. Grease-like stain located left of male sitter's forehead. Chemical or water stains in lower right corner. Large water stain along upper left border. Bond of photographic paper to card stock removed in bottom left corner. Missing paper fragments and stains on back.
circa 1862-1866
8 CR2
Major General George E. Pickett
Approximately 22 " x 16" crayon/charcoal enlargement mounted in a 27" x 22" frame and mat.Image Condition: Image is mounted on wood frame backing with a wood mat on top. Mat is cut in a rectangular shape with rounded corners. Image is in good condition except for an approximately 2 ½" crease in lower left-hand corner.Typed note pasted to board on back of frame reads: This crayon of General George E. Pickett was made by his Indian son James Tilton Pickett. It is signed by him. The pictures was given to "Judge" E.D. Warbass to hang above his fireplace in the San Juan Island "Pickett House." Warbass had been post sutler at Fort Bellingham and at Fort San Juan and was a close friend of Pickett, his Indian wife, and Jimmie. After San Juan Fort was abandoned, Warbass hired one John Douglas to transport by ox team the "Pickett House" from the Fort site to the Warbass property known as "Idlewild" on the east coast of San Juan Island. Warbass hung the crayon as Jimmie directed and it remained there after his death which occurred in about 1906. In 1920, when the property changed owners, the name became "Kwan Lamah" resort and the crayon remained above the fireplace. These owners believe that is should be among pioneer records and are giving it to the Northwest Collection at the University of Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Leon G. Little. January17, 1961.
circa 1862-1866
XE1 CR3
  Portrait of Mary Neilsen
Waite (Creator)
Approximately 16" x 20" crayon/charcoal enlargement.Written on original mounting material: Mary Neilsen Maternal Grandmother of Imogene Leona Miller Robbin.
circa 1862-1866
XE1 CR4
 Portrait of Hans Nielsen
Waite (Creator)
Approximately 16" x 20" crayon/charcoal enlargement.Written on original mounting material: Hans Nielsen-Maternal grandfather of Imogene Leona Miller Robbin.
circa 1862-1866

Autochromes, 1907-circa 1930sReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box item
4 AC1a-b
Trees with water in background
Alvin A. Peterson (photographer)
Both autochromes are of the same image.
5" x 7" autochromes.Image Condition: Both autochromes are in fairly good condition with a few slight scratches, fingerprints, and smudges.
between 1907 and 1940?
4 AC2
Gateway to the Garden of the Gods: view of canyon
5" x 7" autochrome.Image Condition: Fairly good condition with a few slight scratches, fingerprints, and smudges.
between 1907 and 1940?
4 AC3
Portrait of Irma Ruth
Ira Currant (photographer)
5" x 7" autochrome.Image Condition: Fairly good condition with a few slight scratches, fingerprints, and smudges.
between 1907 and 1940?
Box/Folder
1/14 AC4
Diascope autochrome viewer
between 1907 and 1940?

ChromolithographReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
box:oversize item
7 CH1
 Mt. Rainier
E. Parrot Pond., Seattle Art Co (photographer)
5 ½" x 8 3/4" image size with mat mounted in 9 ½" x 12 ½" frame.Image Condition: Very good.
1905

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Ambrotype--Specimens
  • Blueprinting--Specimens
  • Color photography--Autochrome process--Specimens
  • Daguerreotype--Specimens
  • Photography--Printing processes--Specimens
  • Tintype--Specimens