I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I also accept donations of pre-1927 images to be reunited. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cartes de Visites and Lovely Collars

The carte de visite photograph is one of my favourite image formats.  These calling-card sized photos often contain interesting fashions and hairstyles.  They were most popular between 1860-1890.  If you have a carte de visite, and don't know when the photo was taken, you can sometimes determine the approximate date of the photograph by analyzing the thickness of the cardstock.  The thinner the card, the earlier the photograph.   Portrait styles, the use of cheek tinting, and even the photographer's imprint on the reverse of the photograph can provide clues as to the photograph's vintage.

I just love the collars worn by the two young women below.  I found these photos at an antique show in the 1990s.

Above left:  "Sarah Buckley (Rose's Mother)" taken  at the W.B. Miles Studio, 151 High Street, Holyoke, MA.  I would guess that this photograph was taken in the 1890s.

Above right:   "Annie Williams, Brown Hair 12 yr, Sept 19, Black eyes, 2 watercolors" The photograph was taken at the Morton Artistic Photographer, 75 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island circa 1890.  This photograph may have accompanied Annie's entries in an art show. 

Above left:  The dapper man in the photograph is "W. M. Lawson" and we know this because he was kind enough to sign his CDV.  Though it is not visible in the scan above, there is a faint photographer's imprint in the lower right corner that reads, "Sheldon & Davis."  

Above right:  This little girl was photographed at G. Wilson's Photographic and Portrait Gallery on Water St. in Mary's, Ontario, Canada, probably sometime after 1877 and before 1885.  "Annie Lytle" is written on the back in pencil.


  1. What a great blog! I am also drawn to "homeless people" (my term for those poor souls whose photos were abandoned and find their way to an antique store). Love these pictures, and hope you have success in reuniting them with their families.

    Happy Hunting,
    Lauren Rogers Mahieu

  2. Lauren, I'm so glad you like the blog. It would be wonderful to find homes for some of these photographs. Thanks for visiting!