Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Best Friends

The world would never be the same after M. Daguerre took his first photo. It appeared in the Gazette de france, Jan. 6, 1839 edition, and since this point, an untold number of images have been caught. These images have been called "Daguerreotypes".

By 1856, a quickly made, inexpensive product, was produced ultimately called a tintype. [At first they were called ferrotype or melainotype but who could say these words.] They came in various sizes from a whole plate (6 1/2 inches x 8 1/2 inches) down to a 1/9 plate (2 inches x 2 1/2 inches). They were produced on very thin sheets of iron involving certain chemicals which gave a very sturdy surface. These images could be carried easily and mailed easily. They captured the Civil War period in America in amazing fashion. They became the "folk art" of the day.

The picture above shows such a tintype from my families' collection. It is a 1/2 plate, measuring 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. [An inch scale and millimeter scale are shown.] It has a plain back ground and dark surface common to the tintype. It shows a man with his dog. [I have been unable to identify his name, but I believe him to be a Ewen.]

The picture to the right is an enlargement of this tintype. You needed to sit still around 30 seconds to capture the image. Not much showing on this fellows face. Coat and tie are in place. Sitting stiffly. He seems to be holding his dog comfortably, and the dog has his paws upon the right knee. What an experience. Holding a dog still for any amount of time is a challenge. I wonder who he was.

A man and his dog...best friends.

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