How to Date Old Photographs by costume

The Costume Detective
How to Date Old Photographs by the Costume
A Fashion-era Special

By Pauline Weston Thomas for

Custom Search

How to Date Old Photographs by the Costume

This new section below is devoted to dating old photographs and pictures by analysing costume, fashions, hats & jewellery worn by the wearers in the photos.  Use costume history to date photos.  Learn tips and hints and examples to help you to achieve a date within 5 years either way of the photo 's original date.  This will make your genealogy research so much more meaningful to you and your family. 

Learn by example how to use your own detective skills to examine your photo in detail. See how close you can get to the date which in some cases you may be able to verify with documentation.

The Costume Detective 1 - How to Date a Photograph Using Costume 

Example 1 1910

A Crowd scene of old Hebburn with children and women and men of all ages.

The costume in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion.

A short history of Old Hebburn.

Click on the headings below to go to full pages.

The Costume Detective 2 - How to Date a Photograph Using Costume 

Example 2 c1868-73 Charlotte

A portrait study of Charlotte Emma Pitman a young lady who lived in Mid Victorian Britain.

The costume, jewellery and hairstyle in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion over a 5 year period.

The Costume Detective 3 Analysing an Old Dated Photograph

Example 3 - The Weddell Mourning Photo of 1913

This is study of a father and his two adult daughter a year after the death of his wife. The sitters all wear mourning dress.

Find more old photos discussed in other fashion-era sections:-

1920s Wedding Photos

1920s Day Dress Real People Photos

1930s Wedding Photographs

1940s Old Wedding Photos

1950s Old Photographs of Real People

1923-1955 Photo Mix


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More analysed photographs to follow.

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Custom Search looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values, homelife and politics have all contributed to lifestyle trends which influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period. can take no responsibility for the information above and any outcome which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or indirectly.

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