Monday, January 31, 2011

Photo Number 440

This photo was found in the back of the Nettie Parks Album.
Extra Sealed Old Tintype or Ambrotype
I am not sure if this is a Daguerreotype or an Ambrotype. Perhaps one of my readers can tell me for sure which one it is. Update:  The absence of mirror like quality at any angle leads me to believe that this is an Ambrotype.  

An Ambrotype is a glass negative backed by a dark surface so as to appear positive.

A Daguerreotype is an early photographic process with the image made on a light sensitive silver coated metallic plate. Update: Norkio says that a Daguerreotype has a mirror like quality at any angle. 

The photo and frame measures 2 7/8 inches by 3 1/4 inches.  It appears golden colored in the scan..but it is a copper color. The decorative frame has been crimped to seal the photograph…and yes the glass covering is cracked.  This is one reason that many photographers started to do tintypes as they were unbreakable.

I believe that this photo is most likely from 1856 to 1865.( Updated: 1859 to 1865) He is a very distinguished looking gentleman, but an unknown.

Thanks for stopping by, do come again:)

Update from djsheri:
Photo 440 - is most likely John Wesley Park, Sr., born 1838-1839, Morris Co., New Jersey, son of Peter Park, born 1812 & Harriett Elizabeth Bowman, born 1819.


  1. A wonderful early photograph. Can't help you with the type I'm afraid.

  2. If it has a mirror like quality at any angle, it is a daguerreotype. If not a mirror, then an ambrotype. The more ornate the matte and preserver (the piece that goes all the way around the outside and then slides into the case) the later in the era, regardless of dag or ambro. The stamped mattes like above appeared about 1859 and ran to the end of the dag/ambro era in about 1865. If this is a dag, you can date it between 1859-1862, otherwise an ambro would be between 1859-1865.

  3. Your website, which I came upon by accident one day, has inspired me to research my own family tree.

    I love what you do and your blog has brought me much enjoyment!

  4. Given the early date on the photograph, we can rule out this being Nettie's husband, Wesley and ponder on the likelihood that it is her father, William "Call me Emery" Crandall or perhaps it is her father-in-law. To me, there are a lot of similarities between this gentleman and Photo 428. Perhaps Mr. 428 is this man's son?

  5. Iggy, Mr. 428 could be this guys never can tell:)
    Norkio, Thanks for the helped me to figure it out :)
    Anonymous..Stop by again sometime..I am glad you like the blog:)
    Katelyn, It is beautiful..the scan doesn't do it justice. :)
    Alan, Thanks I always appreciate your comments..I thought perhaps you would know the different photo types...I find the early photographic process interesting but confusing:)

  6. Photo 440 - is most likely John Wesley Park, Sr., born 1838-1839, Morris Co., New Jersey, son of Peter Park, born 1812 & Harriett Elizabeth Bowman, born 1819. Photo 428 - is most likely John "Wesley" Park, Jr., born 1870, Morris Co., New Jersey, son of John Wesley Park, Sr. & Elizabeth Cusick, also spelled Cusack.

    I have several pictures of John Wesley Park, Sr. & Elizabeth Cusick when they older.

    My great-great-grandparents, Peter Park & Harriett Elizabeth Bowman and their family came to Macedonia, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa in 1874 from Mendham - Chester, Morris Co., New Jersey.


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! English only please! All comments will be moderated! Connie