early photoshop

One of the most intriguing and little-studied forms of nineteenth-century photography is the tintype. Introduced in 1856 as a low-cost alternative to the daguerreotype and the albumen print, the tintype was widely marketed from the 1860s through the first decades of the twentieth century as the cheapest and most popular photographic medium.

Because of its ubiquity, the tintype provides a startlingly candid record of the political upheavals that occurred during the four decades following the American Civil War, and the personal anxieties they induced. The tintype studio became a kind of performance space where sitters could act out their personal identities, displaying the tools of their trade, masks and costumes, toys and dolls, stuffed animals and props of all sorts.

This uniquely American medium provides extraordinary insights into the development of national attitudes and characteristics in the formative years of the early modern era.

A new exhibition, America and the Tintype, opens tomorrow, September 19, at the International Center of Photography (ICP).



Mélanie said...

I love this kind of photos ! Actually I collect them ...they make me smile

tangobaby said...

That first one is awesome! See, people have always had a wacky sense of humor. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Very unique tintypes, especially the first. It's also amazing how many tins were made of Civil War battlefields, generals, and politicians. They put the war right into people's laps back home. Never was a major conflict so fully photographed. I'd love to see that new exhibition.

Anonymous said...

what an incredibly creative post! These are great!

Jane Flanagan said...

Neat! Love it!