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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Dating Old Photos

I love old family photos. I have lots - wish I had more. I cherish them.

We take picture taking for granted nowadays. With digital cameras we can take as many as we want. Back in the olden days few were taken. You are lucky if you have very many of your ancestor's photos.

I've been doing a little research lately on vintage pictures. I have quite a few that are on the back of postcards. I always thought that was interesting. Below are three and the backs of two of them.

I found a site that tells you how you can date them. Have fun dating yours.
Click here to go to it.
The information confirmed my idea of when these pictures were taken.

I also have this picture. I haven't been able to find any images like this online. Can any of you help me in finding out what type of picture this is?  This picture is attached to a metal oval. There is small punched hole in the top for hanging. The paper is torn and coming unattached to the metal. The baby in the picture is my mother, so I know it was taken in the mid 1920s.

Tin type pictures are also neat. Here are two small ones. They have a hole punched in the top right corner and the pictures are dark. I have copies of these and a copy of the one above, too.

Quite a while back I did a post here telling about how you can display your old family photos.

I wrote a poem once, inspired by some of my family photos.

by Janet F. Smart

The traveling photographer
Caught their solemn pose
For a few moments
Their current life froze.

Their neatly groomed hair
Their finest attire
Captured in hist’ry
For us to admire.

Just a tiny piece
A snippet of life
That solemn portrait
Of husband and wife.
One look at the past
One page in a book
Of life long ago
In pictures he took.

Do you have a lot of old family pictures? Do you have yours in shoe boxes, detailed scrapbooks, photo albums, displayed about your house in frames? Or all of the above?

I hope the link helps you in dating them.
And I hope names are on them and you know who they are.


  1. Hi Janet -- I'm Janet too. My younger sister brought up 5 or 6 albums for me to go through to see if I recognize some of the people and to name them. This looks like a gargantuan task to me and I hardly know where to begin. Thanks for the tips for dating them.

    1. Hi, Janet. Don't you just hate it when there's no names or dates on them. I have a lot where I need to find out who they are. I would just suggest to start showing them to other family members and see if someone else knows who they are. Also look for clues in the pictures. And you might find another picture that has a name on it - match it up with another of the same person that has no name.

  2. Hi Janet, I have a few old photos, but two large plastic bins, one with photo albums, and one with loose photos. My memory boxes. Thanks for the link on how to date the older ones. Hope you are enjoying longer days.

    1. Hi, Linda. You're welcome. Hope you are enjoying your days, too. Unfortunately there never seems to be enough time in even these longer days to get done everything that needs to get done.

  3. You have talents! I truly enjoyed your poem. Just came upon your blog and for certain, I'll be back. I crave to write of my life but lack direction. Or is it motivation I lack?

    1. Hi, Caddie. Thank you. I hope you find direction and start to write. Bet you would be good at it.

  4. First, I loved your poem!
    My grandfather used to develop film in a darkroom he had set up in the storm cellar. Mama told me once she remembered holding a curtain over the door while he worked inside. I (think) I know his pictures were printed on postcard stock. I have a box of old black and white negatives; most are in pretty bad condition but my daughter was able to print a few(the farmer had set up a darkroom for our girls in the bathroom). I wish others could be printed because there are pictures of my great grandparents' home place and many of Mama's cousins.
    You always have such interesting posts!

    1. Hi, Charlotte, glad you like my poem. That's interesting about your grandfather. I hope you get all your pics developed, especially the ones of your grgrandparents's home place.

  5. What lovely pictures you have. They are priceless.Such memories. I have many family photos too and need to put them all in albums to keep from damaging them. For many years I worked on genealogy and received lots of photos and information from distant kinfolks. Thanks for the link on dating them. Will have to take a look.
    Your poem is beautiful too. Thanks for stopping by my blog. So happy I visited you today. Have a great week.

    1. Thank you, Beverly. Glad you came over for a visit.

  6. wow !!! beautiful and so lovely work :) i really like your good idea so much.Thank for sharing.


  7. Such a wonderful poem! Yes, I love, love old photos and I love taking photos and creating scrapbooks. I am the one at family gatherings with my camera......taking photos when everyone else is eating. All of these sweet memories need to be remembered!


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