Dating 19th century photographs dating someone 15 years younger

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The following common types of vintage photos, their photographic processes and characteristics could help you positively identify some of your long-lost ancestors.

Photographers would coat a thin sheet of paper with egg white which would hold light-sensitive silver salt on the surface of the paper, preventing image fading.

Once it was dry, albumen prints were used just like salted-paper prints and the image would form by the darkening properties of the sun on the chemicals.

Most of the surviving photographs from the 19th century are on albumen paper.

Photo above is an albumen print of an unidentified confederate Civil War soldier. Albumen prints were often mounted on cardboard carte-de-viste (CDVs).

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