Artifact of the Week

What kind of photograph is this?

When was the process invented?

What do you know about the people in the picture?



Answers:

What kind of photograph is this?

This is a "tintype," a photographic technique in which an image is produced on a thin sheet of metal. It has been used in the field of photography for about 150 years.

When was the process invented?

The tintype process was invented by Adolphe-Alexandre Martin in France in 1853 as a faster and cheaper alternative to the earlier technique of daguerreotype. Because it was easier to use than daguerreotypes and needed a much shorter exposure time, it allowed photographers to capture a much wider range of subjects.

What do you know about the people in the picture?

The only information we have on file about the people in this tintype is that they were Civil War soldiers in uniform. But what else can you tell about them, just from studying the image?



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