As We Were: Fabulous Hats

Time travelers of all kinds will tell you that it is important to get the details correct. No detail could be more important than having the right hat.

1870’s and 1880’s

After the 1860’s women’s dresses went from large hoopskirts to more of a natural form. I use the word natural loosely, but take a look at the images and you’ll see what I mean. Hats went from bonnets to amazing works of art. There was something to fit every taste. As the dresses in the 80’s became more extreme so did the hats.

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Any good mother would know to start their children off early with stylish hats. Of course they had a dog.

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Of course you could always borrow your boyfriend’s hat.

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Fashionable friends in the 1880’s with fabulous hats. Do you think they planned this or just happened to show up wearing these delightful creations?

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Notice the feathers. Now imagine the wild bright colors these hats were. There was nothing drab about the colors these women were wearing. We only see them in black and white. Imagine the colors!

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A remarkable hat. Check out the detail in the sleeves. Why do most costumes in movies get the beautiful details all wrong? It is those tiny details that make the moment come alive.

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Fashionable friends have fashionable hats and fabulous pets.

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This one is a little later, from the 1890’s. Flowers never go out of style.

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Fashionable tweens.

I’ll be featuring more amazing and fashionable women’s hats from the 19th Century in future posts.

For all of you top hat fans there will be plenty of dashing men with their hats in the future as well.

Until then let me know if there is anything fashion wise you’d like to see, or other types of 19th Century photographic portraits you’re interested in.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

FabulousSisters

Note: All photos are the property of Juliette Kings.

 

As We Were: A New Series About 19th Century Photography, Fashion, and Fun

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Ambrotype. Around 1850-54

As We Were: A New Series About 19th Century Photography, Fashion, and Fun

Today is the start of a new series As We Were, a look into 19th Century photography, fashion, and culture. The idea came from my box of ghosts, or that is the many boxes I have full of 19th Century photos that need to be shared.

My regular readers will recognize some of the images, but there are many many many more that haven’t been seen for a long time.

Each 1st and 4th Wednesday I’ll ramble share my photos, along with stories, thoughts on fashion like how bustles and hoop skirts really work, society, and other related subjects. See the list at the end of the post for a better idea of what I’m up to here.

My term box of ghosts comes from the fact that if your turn a daguerreotype image you see the negative form and it looks like a ghost. That is also why these images are extremely difficult to photograph with my iPhone.

Ambrotypes, and later paper photographs are easier to photograph due to the fact they don’t have the negative reflection.

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The Beginning – 1840’s and Early Photographic Portraits

Between 1845 and 1850, Texas and California became part of the Union, along with Florida, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

In the 1840’s Edgar Allen Poe wrote his most famous works, James Marshal discovered gold in California, Mormons founded Salt Lake City, the Donner Party spent a winter near Lake Tahoe, Baseball became a national passion, Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, and the 1st Women’s Rights Convention was led by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, photography became part of our lives.  Anyone could have their portrait instantly taken. American culture would never be the same.

In 1839 the daguerreotype was brought to the United States. The artistic and innovated immediately set up studios so that anyone could have their real likeness captured with a depth and clarity that matched the real world. It was an exact image. It was like magic.

Now it wasn’t just the rich who had their portraits to share to the world. Almost everyone could afford to have their portrait taken.

The expressions on their faces was serious, apprehensive, guarded, or a shy joy. Popular opinion says they did not smile but we know that isn’t true. Smiling in portraits wasn’t always the popular thing to do, and with the long exposure times not always the easiest for the often uncomfortable sitters. After all, sitters were sometimes in an uncomfortable head brace that kept them motionless for the exposure time of 3-5 minutes.

Unlike paper photographs, there were no negatives daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. There was one take. No copies. Each piece was a precious original.

The daguerreotype took us from being anonymous to being forever smiling shyly, in an expression captured forever. We would never be forgotten.

Photography changed society and the way we view ourselves.

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Daguerreotype 1840’s

 

Below are examples of early daguerreotypes and ambrotypes from my collection. Most were taken in the 1840’s, with the exception of a few taken in the early 1850’s.

For an enlarged view click on the image.

In future posts I’ll include other subject matters including animals. Even early on cats, pornography, and photography as art caught on. Cat memes are nothing new. Though many early portraits with cats are blurry due to the fact that cats don’t always listen to the photographer.

 

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The Basics Types of 19thCentury Photos

Daguerreotype

A daguerreotype is a picture produced on a silver coated copper or silvered glass plate. A sensitizing agent of iodine and a developing agent of mercury is used to make the image come alive. I’m not sure how the chemistry works but it does, and it does it with great beauty. The first commercial daguerreotype was introduced in 1839. They became popular in the 1840’s and 50’s. They were last made in the mid-1860’s as paper photos became popular.

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Ambrotype

The ambrotype was created by a negative image produced on a glass plate. The image views positive by the addition of a black backing. Unlike a daguerreotype ambrotypes are not reflective. The photo below is an abrotype you might recognize as Randolpho wearing one of his famous hats.

Ambrotypes were introduced in 1854 and more or less stopped production in 1865.

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Randolpho wearing one of his famous hats. Notice his nicely tinted cheeks.

Tintypes (also know as melainotype and ferrotype)

Tintypes are negative images produced on a thin iron plate then made positive when a think undercoating of black Japan varnish is applied. The wonderful thing about tintypes is that they do not break when dropped. Tintypes are often dark.

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Tintypes were introduced in 1856 and continued to be produced until around 1930. You’ll often find tintypes of vacation spots such as in swimsuits or posed casually with friends. The portrait I use for my blog is a tintype.

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Juliette

Cartes de Vistite  or CDV

CDVs were introduced in 1854 and are PAPER photographs. These are small 2.5 x 3.5 inch photos mounted on 2.5 x 3” cards.  These were extremely popular, especially during the Civil War era. People liked CDVs because they were small like calling cards and easy to hand out to friends and family.

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My regular readers might recognize this fine fellow. Innocenzio D’Antonio: An opera singer and friend of the family.

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Civil War era dress. Check out the beautiful details.

Cabinet Card

When most people think of old photos they think of cabinet cards. Cabinet cards are paper photographic prints measuring 4” x 5.5 inches mounted on a 4.25 x 6.5 inch cardboard backing. These were introduced in 1863 and pretty much stopped production around 1920. Some people collect cabinet cards with fabulous back designs advertising the photographer.

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FabulousSisters

Future posts will include:

  • Civil War Era Fashion including the hoop skirt
  • California portraits
  • Bustle Dresses
  • Hoop Skirts
  • Many many posts on fashions of the 1840’s – 90’s
  • Big hair
  • Children
  • Parents and children
  • Families
  • Grandparents
  • 19thCentury Teens
  • Dogs and Cats
  • Weddings, graduations, and other special occasions
  • Children and toys
  • Tinted images
  • Tintypes
  • Big hats
  • Having fun
  • Extreme Fashion
  • Beautifully unattractive portraits
  • Vampires, Ghosts, and other paranormal issues, with help from Nigel
  • Fabulous Hats
  • Cabinet Card Backs
  • Outdoors
  • RPPC – Real Picture Post Cards
  • Hot Victorian Guys
  • And more

Post Mortem and Erotic photographic images from the 19th Century are popular among collectors and online discussion groups. While there are many interesting and beautiful examples in both genres, I do not collect either of these types of photos and will not be featuring either one in my future posts. 

Remember to come back every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month for another fun installment of As We Were.

If you would like to go back to previous posts (when I have them) there will be a link on the left side blog menu.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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Ambrotypes. Sisters early 1850’s. Note the fabulous matching dresses and tinted cheeks. Love these girls.

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Ready for adventure in the 1850’s

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1840’s. Yes, I’m a teenager here with my sister and I’m still bored.

Hot Dead Guys

Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you were always a stiff.

Here are a few photos from my personal collection (they might be departed, or they might be Vampires. I’ll never tell. OK at least not today.)

Enjoy.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

We are "the guys" and we approve of this blog.

We are “the guys” and we approve of this blog.

We all need our dogs.

We all need our dogs.

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Jackie

Our Gang

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My friend the Vampire.

My friend the Vampire.

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Some guys have it and some guys don't.

Some guys have it and some guys don’t.

Vampire Teens of Olden Days (still having fun after all these years)

Vampire Teens of Olden Days (still having fun after all these years)

 

Box of Ghosts

Happy Halloween Everyone from Vampire Maman!

For your entertainment I’ll share some portraits from my collection, my Box of Ghosts,  to delight and inspire.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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We are "the guys" and we approve of this blog.

We are “the guys” and we approve of this blog.

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Precious child 1850's

Precious child 1850’s

We don't wear shorts to school!

We don’t wear shorts to school!

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Lola

Lola

Friday Big Hats, Big Hair and Gratuitous Vampire Stuff

It is Friday.

That means big hats and big hair and a gratuitous Vampire meme.

And a wrap up of this week (and what you might have missed – click on the links below):

Big Hat Day

Big Hat Day

Big Hair Day

Big Hair Day

Mona V

Mona V

Small and Precious Ghosts

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No amount of time can take away the love or the wonder of a small child – it lasts forever – even after those brief moments are gone from our physical world the love is still with all of us.20130430-152227.jpg