Small Carte de Visite,
Same as Collotype, and
Same as Cabinet Card
|Edison and Eastman's
|Gustave Le Gray
had his Collotype recipe
Tintype Photos in History 1833 to 1917
People are Not Smiling in Tintypes, as photos became a "document"
First: Most people didn't have much teeth because there weren't many dentists.
They only dentistry they knew was to pull aching teeth, and most didn't have much of their teeth.
Getting a family portrait was a Sunday adventure as all came from church to a photographer who
would used a gun powder for a flash, but lit power fell into their laps, and they were not happy.
They were wearing their best Sunday cloths at church and didn't want powder holes in them.
Secondly, People used tintypes to show their existence and their heritage or occupation, they
were proud of their livelihood, and they were eager to show it. A farmer was shown in his tintype
photo, as he held up his plow horse collar, and a few farming tools, as proud of his occupation.
In 1865 "proof of birth" in photographs were needed for birth certificates as required to get their
death certificate for burial. A photograph served as identity. Most didn't have a birth certificate.
War soldiers shown in tintypes were alive or dead, as tintypes became "proof of existence".
How the Tintype Photograph became the First Photo
They began as partners in 1813 in Chalon sur Saone, France, Frenchman, Joseph Nicéphore
Niépce, a scientist, began experimenting with heliographs, as Niépce played with transparent
engravings on glass plates coated with light-sensitive varnish mix, exposed to light, and waited
for an image. Niépce had some success in copying engravings, but had no photo success until
two years later when he found pewter plates supported his media. He used bitumen which lead
to a clearer image. By 1826, in an upper-story workroom in Le Gras, Niepce set up his invention,
camera-obscure. With a polished pewter plate coated with bitumen of Judea, a petroleum
asphalt derivative, his chemical of choice would 'burn' an image onto the polished smooth
metal. Each experiment took hours and even days developing faded unclear images. After at
least one day of a long exposure and washing his plate with a mixture of Oil of Lavender and
white petroleum, his mixture dissolved some of the bitumen which had not been hardened by
light. There was an image recorded onto a metal plate as his camera was pointed outside his
window to the court yard. The courtyard image was faint but was burned into the plate. He called
his first invention a "heliograph" because it was faint, hardly seen but became clearer as it dried.
After several attempts to patent a clear image, Niépce submitted his journals to file his patent.
In 1833 Niepce registered his invention as a heliograph at Royal Society of England in UK.
Niepce passed away soon after, at 68 from an illness. He was never celebrated for his notoriety.
In 1836: Niepce's partner Louis Jacques Daguerre, a noted artist, took over Niepce's journals.
Daguerre patented Niepce's same first image outside his window, "Court Yard in La Gras" and
re-patented, almost as a duplicate patent-record, called it "photographie", French for photograph
for a Frenchman means "drawing in light" as Daguerre was subjected to a hearing for his patent.
March 14, 1839 Daguerre's new patent came to a hearing, while submitting Niepce's image.
In a lecture at the Royal Society of England, Sir John Herschel accredited Daguerre as being a
partner with Niepce recording that both invented two patents by using the same image. Since
Niepce was no longer existing, Daguerre was able to register the same image with a new patent
number, as the Justice and Sir John Hershel wrote into the registration that Daguerre's patent
shall be known as "Daguerrotype" but did not separate the words heliograph or a photograph as
Herschel noted that both patents are registered with the same image, and "in a partnership".
In 1852 historian Helmut Gernsheim confirmed and upheld the first image as owned by Niepce
returning fame back to Joseph Nicéphore Niépce as first registered photograph patent filed at
the Royal Society of England, as it was held that Joseph Nice'phore Niépce was the first inventor
in his quote, "whether called heliograph or photograph, Niepce is the authenticated inventor".
Official Summary: The Royal Society of England lists both Joseph Niepce and Louis Daguerre
as developers of the first photograph in partnership but the Royal Society of England records
Joseph N. Niepce as the first inventor of the photograph "the official record on file" (Gernsheim).
Ambrotype 1841 to 1863
Ambrotype, invented by John Ambrose who patented our first positive black & white photograph.
This type of photo never dried. Like the Daguerre-type which needed to be sealed under glass,
both tintypes needed to be seen through their glass protective shields, because the chemical
composition of each never dried, as a slight push of a finger can crush and smear the image.
A broken seal would leak light through the edge making a light-prism, then the photo would
become a negative and tilt the other way it would be a positive. Broken seals on this tintype
cannot be fixed. Still, we can restore an Ambrotype with a broken seal.
Hamilton Smith patented in 1856 in the USA, and his partner, Willam Kloan patented it in UK.
This photo-type was described by Adolphe Alexandre Martin in France in 1853. First called
Melainotype, but later changed to Ferrotype for its tin. Smith developed a fast drying emulsion
that didn't need a glass seal. Photos in grayscale were brushed with more chemicals mixed
with the prior emulsion to produce a few color, as they only had eight colors to choose from.
1870-1890 Becoming popular craze, Photographers setup photo-tents in parks as clients lined-
up for photos. People took their photos with them on their journey to the West in covered
wagons, and dropped their photos along the way. Some tintype have been along that route.
Ferrotype frames: a leather-bound frame (like a box with book-like opening). The outside was
carved into its leather cover with an ornate design, front and back. Inside, the photo had an
ornate designed gold-gilded brass frame in the shape of an oval as a photo-surround. All four
metal photo corners were cut-off to utilize a clip-on to hold ornate frame.
Tintypes in Leather-Bound Frames (a compact)
This tintype frame was leather-bound with ornate, oval brass.
Metal tintype corners were folded to attach with the oval brass.
On the left side was an over-stuff velvet pad which hid a mirror.
Ladies used the mirror and velvet pad to make-up their face.
On the right-side was a picture of their boyfriend or husband.
Mimeograph "pictures" 1876, later resurrected 1887
In 1876 the mimeograph was invented by Thomas Edison. Edison dumped this invention.
In 1887 the mimeograph patent was bought by Albert B. Dick owner of A. B. Dick Company, who
sold his mimeograph machines as "printers" to copy tintype photographs onto cabinet cards.
Cabinet Card Photos - "Tintypes by Mimeograph" (Collodians)
1887: Skilled artists produced copies of tintypes onto mime-plates for a mimeograph to print.
People first were rejected them, as they were not like the original tintype photo, only copied.
Cabinet cards pictures in grayscale were stored in cabinets is how they got their name.
In cabinets they were best-forgotten and only shown after "the real photos have been seen.
They became known as "those forgotten cabinet card photos nobody likes to see" as people
went back to tintype photos which were pushed into photo albums intended for cabinet cards.
Enlarged "Pictures" by Cabinet Card/Mimeograph (medium size 11" - 17")
1888 cabinet cards were called by many names, re-invented by William Henry Fox Talbot, UK.
Talbot found an albumen recipe, produced a faint image on large paper in the 13X19 range.
Paper photos had a far less image than tintypes. Some images produced from tintypes were
artistically changed (which was why they were rejected) as great artists who produced these
photographs were thought of as a first rank. Many of them were highly qualified painters who
produced ambitious works of art, all of which looked like real tintype photographs, although they
lacked a lot of luster compared to even the earliest tintypes. Made mostly for high society ranks,
they were named Calotypes, Collotypes and Carte de Viste, as different off-shoots of the cabinet
card, with slight variances of recipes per each type, while many inventors were trying to improve
on an already tried and true invention, the cabinet card, changed with their handcrafted artistry.
Their artistry was color over-painting over the grayscale print of a mimeograph image, which did
change its landscape, and purpose but was used in large prints and frames as "wall pictures".
Some very sharp and accept oval painting were actually over-painted mimeograph prints.
1888 George Eastman - Kodak for tins & film & Cinematography - New York
George Eastman did not invent plastic rolled film. That credit goes to Hannibal Goodwin, 1870.
Also, Peter Houston was credited his drawing of rolled film possibly to fit a box camera.
Peter Houston made one side shiny so an image would stick like a shiny polish tintype metal.
Peter passed away, his brother David Houston took over the patent. Eastman paid $5000 for it.
Eastman built Kodak around the Goodwin and Houston invention and made millions.
At first Eastman was a tintype maker selling tins to photographers, and end up with the film.
George Eastman developed a camera from Houston's drawings of rolled film in a box camera.
Eastman expanding Kodak from a 2nd floor loft to 4 floors and a loading dock, bought trucks.
Now Kodak was selling cameras and plastic film. Before that Eastman sold tins for tintypes.
Later, Eastman partnered with Edison in 1891 to invent cinematography with rolled film, and
Edison partnered with Eastman with his new invention, the bright bulb for cinematography.
Both partnered their new cinematography as the first motion pictures was invented.
This invention became the rage in America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and the World.
Edison - Electricity & Light + a Brighter Bulb for Cinematography - NYC
Edison's cinematography bulb evolved into the first X-ray vacuum tube for medical science.
Edison Electric on the East Coast had lights in every home Eastward but never expanded his
company westward to the Midwest nor the West Coast which had an abundance of power.
patented 1st heliograph
|first photo, heliograph
"Courtyard in La Gras"
by Joseph N. Niepce
|Louis J. Daguerre
|Brevet Major General
George A. Custer
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206-337-2020 in Seattle
206-337-2020 in Seattle