Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mystery Photo #9

** Update ** Color version of photos added July 29, 2007 to help with analysis. Also added link to fM's post, see below.

This is the eighth post (and 9th photo) in a series of unidentified photographs from the Charles Wiseman Family Bible. See this post for background information. Click on the "Mystery Photo" label at the bottom of the post to see all of the photographs in this series. As always, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Paper photograph on card stock. 2 3/8 x 4 1/16. Printed on back: J. E. Walton, Photographer Vevay, Ind.

Depending upon when this picture was taken, it could be Susanna Wiseman, daughter of Charles and Naomi Bray Wiseman, who was born August 2, 1850. Susanna married James Scott on April 8, 1882. Or, it could be Elizabeth Detraz, born June 27, 1871 and daughter of Eliza Banta and Julius Detraz. Elizabeth married Charles Wiseman, Jr. on December 23, 1895. They all lived in Vevay. Or, of course, it could be someone else. . .

** Update July 29, 2007 **

footnoteMaven has posted Dating Old Photographs :: Becky's Mystery Photograph #9 which provides a great (tremendous, awesome) methodology for analyzing old photos. You have to check it out if you have any old pictures that have not been identified. fM also provides a list of resources/books she is using for help in creating a database for a project on Washington State and Territory photographers. A HUGE Thank You goes to fM!

A bit more informaton about the pictures, based on fM's methodology:

  • Category: Card Measurement ~ the picture is 2 5/16 x 3 11/16 and the card is 2 1/2 x 4 1/8
  • Category: Card Thickness ~ No calipers on hand ;-) but using the method suggested by fM and described here, the thickness of the card was 8 sheets of 20 bond paper or .032 inches thick, which puts it into the 1880-1900 date range.
  • Category: Color of Card ~ The front of the card is off white/light tan with a hint of yellow. The background of the image is a bit darker than the card itself. The back of the card is white, not a bright white, but definitely white.

If there is just one thing I've learned in this process it is to scan all photographs, even monochromatic, in color, to take advantage of all clues hiding within the picture. It takes more time to get a good color "match" and you have to keep in mind that every monitor will display the pictures somewhat differently, which means not everyone will see it the way you do. Now I need to find the time to go back and rescan some of these Mystery Photos and apply fM's methodology, find the resources she mentioned, and see what information I can pull from these photos, as well as that big box of unidentified pictures my Dad gave me a few years before he passed away!

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