Years:  1839 - c.1855

The daguerreotype consists of a copper plate that is coated with silver and polished to a mirror-like finish. The plate is sensitized with iodine vapor, exposed in a camera, and developed in an atmosphere of mercury vapor. "Dags", as they are also known, can be recognized by the mirror reflection in the image, and can be best viewed at an angle. A typed noted included with this image identifies the man as DeWitt C. Gage. He first came to Saginaw in 1854 and was one of the founders of the First Congregational Church. He was a lawyer, Circuit Judge and the great-grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier. Image courtesy of Barb Bauer.


Years: 1854 - c.1870

From the Greek meaning "immortal impression" ambrotypes are images made on glass using the wet plate collodion process. Image courtesy of Barb Bauer.

Tintype, Ferrotype, Melainotype

Years: 1854 - c.1900

Tintypes are images made on a piece of iron which is blackened by lacquering, painting or enameling. A direct positive of the image is created on this surface using colloidion photographic emulsion. Earlier images are primarily gray-black in color evolving into a chocolate colored tone after 1870. Image courtesy of Barb Bauer.

Carte Des Visite

Years: Introduced in Europe in 1854, United States: c1859 - 1880’s

Also known as a CDV, this image is an albumen print measuring 2⅛ × 3½ inches mounted on a card sized 2½ × 4 inches. This type of photograph was wildly popular in Europe and endured there for a longer period of time than in the United States, before being replaced by the cabinet card. This particular CDV shows a good example of the elegant advertising photographers would often have printed on the back of their images. Image courtesy of Barb Bauer.

Cabinet Cards

Years: 1866 - late 1920's

Like CDV's, cabinet cards are also albumen prints but in a larger format, measuring 4½ by 6½ inches. Image courtesy of Barb Bauer.

Personal Photography, "Snapshots"

Years: Mid-1890's to the present

These are the type of photos most of us are familiar with. It all began in 1891 with George Eastman's introduction of the "You Press The Button, We Do The Rest" campaign which brought personal photography to the masses.