Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Photo Number Eighty-Seven

Another beautiful tin type.  I looked at these photos really closely, for certain one of the girls from yesterday is in this photo.  I think they are both probably the same girls only a little older than in yesterdays photo.I bet they are sisters too.     Norkio noted that this photographer info was on the back.

I found out that J D Wallis was a Canadian Photographer and he occupied three different studios in Ottawa, he was at 56 Sparks Street from 1873-1874 and at 61 Sparks Street from 1875 to 1895.

Tin types were a fast form of photography, actually the first instant photo.  The photo could be taken, developed, cheeks tinted ( a very in vogue thing to do) they also tinted some clothing, they then varnished it and put it in a sleeve or a case..and off went the customer with their photo in hand.  Tin Types come in different sizes. Plate sizes were full, half, fourth, sixth, ninth, sixteenth and gem.  Tintypists were usually itinerant..they did bring the art of photography to many different people who could not afford photographs before.  Having your photo taken was a big event!  Tin types could be mailed..they were durable and unbreakable.  From what I read..the first tin types were not thought of very highly by Professional Photographers..they considered tintypists results not up to their standards and thought of them as a fly by night type of business. One photographer called tin types cheap and artless..apparently he had a bug in his drawers.

Tin is not used in the process, an iron plate is used but the images are cut apart with tin snips.  So it should really be called an Iron type...

I was also curious about "gems"  I found out that they are small tin types about the size of a postage stamp. These tiny photos could be used in jewelry..lockets, broaches..etc..( Norkio emailed me a gem..I will post it tomorrow.)

Thanks for stopping by, do come again:)


  1. I love this photo and how the girls are postioned.

  2. Well if he was at that address in the early 70s then this is first bustle period and I am wrong. The draping is similar but the bustles are smaller than in second bustle. One thing I find interesting about this photo is the hairstyle of the girl on the right. It looks almost Japanese. The Oriental influence was popular in London so it is possible even her dress is inspired by a kimono, but it's difficult to tell. Thanks for the info on the gem! I had wondered too what it meant that he was a gem and photography artist. :-)

  3. Great info on the tin types. I think the "gems" sound like a neat thing to carry or wear as a memento.


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