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November 23, 2023

40 Amazing Outdoor Photos Show What Life Looked Like in Victorian Era

Most of the earliest photographs were not printed on paper, but on sheets of metal or glass. While the images themselves are beautiful, the photographic processes used to create the images are equally fascinating.

Daguerreotypes are often considered the first practical form of photography. The process was invented by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre in 1839, and the richness and detail of the images surpasses even those of modern photographic techniques.

Ambrotypes are often confused with daguerreotypes Glass plate ambrotype because they are housed in the same type of case. The ambrotypes were placed in ornate box cases to protect the fragile glass plates. This type of photography was very popular and widely available from the 1850s through the 1880s, largely because ambrotypes were cheaper to produce than daguerreotypes. Ambrotypes, like daguerreotypes, could be hand painted with color or gold to make the photo more appealing.

Tintypes used the same wet collodion process ambrotypes did, but the process was applying thin sheets of iron coated in black or dark brown paint instead of glass. The process was developed in 1856 and was extremely popular in the United States as tintypes were cheap, thin, and more durable than ambrotypes or daguerrotypes. Some tintypes were placed in decorative box cases, but the majority were placed in paper frames or left loose, which made the photos easy to send in the mail. Tintypes were especially popular among Civil War soldiers and their families. Many photographers set up shop in military camps.

Paper photography ultimately triumphed over metal and glass techniques, largely because they were easier to use and cheaper to produce. Photo paper coated with albumen, collodion, or gelatin allowed for increasing detail to be captured in a shorter amount of time.

Take a look at these amazing outdoor photos to see what life looked like in Victorian era.

Portrait of a family, circa late 1850s

Daguerreotype of an outdoor group, circa 1850s

Portrait of a couple outside their house, circa 1950s

Ambrotype of a group assembled in front of a house with a stone slab in the foreground, circa 1857

Mother and children outside home, circa 1858

Ambrotype of a family, circa 1860s

Ambrotype of two smokers, circa 1860

Daguerreotype of mother and daughter, circa 1860s

Family group, circa 1860

Young lady by the river, circa 1860s

Mother and her children, dated on the back: "July 19/63"

A Civil War era ambrotype of an unidentified group of people taken in a forest setting, circa 1865

Mother and child in garden, circa 1867

A tintype of horse and buggy, taken in what looks like the main street of a rural North American town, circa 1870

Ambrotype of a family at the seaside, circa 1870s

Ambrotype of a farmer with his horse and wagon, circa 1870

Ambrotype of three men, circa 1870s

Four men, circa 1870

On the back read: “John Rubery and Sisters”, circa 1880s

Tintype of a couple, circa 1880s

Tintype of a large family posed in a rustic setting with their two dogs, circa 1880

Tintype of a row of buildings with a mule drawn cart and its driver in the foreground and what looks to be a large body of water, possibly a river, in the background, circa 1880

Tintype of two couples, circa 1880s

Tintype of two ladies, circa 1880s

Victorian family home, taken somewhere in Victoria, Australia, circa 1880

In the woods, circa 1884

Outdoor tintype of a lady, Baxter Springs, Kansas, circa 1889

Farming family, circa 1890

Man on horseback at "Pepper Corn Tree Farm", Leichardt, Victoria, Australia, circa 1890

Tintype of a uniformed man standing in the snow in front of a railway bridge, likely taken in Canada, circa 1890

Tintype of three ladies and a baby, circa 1890

Victorian school kids from western Victoria, circa 1890

A group of people, probably a family, on the deck of what looks like a seagoing ship, circa 1895

Family outing, circa 1895

Victorian picnic, somewhere in Australia, circa 1895

A group of people gathered together for a picnic. From the tree ferns it was likely taken somewhere in southern Victoria, Australia, circa late 1890s

Ambrotype of a family apparently on a seaside holiday, circa 1890s

Cyanotype of a woman with bike and child, circa 1890s

Outdoor tintype of two men, circa 1890s

Tintype of a little girl at the seaside, circa 1890s


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