By the late 1850s the carte de visite appeared, a small photograph pasted onto a standard sized mount measuring approximately 4.25″ x 2.5″ (108mm x 63mm).
This was a much cheaper process and allowed copies to be taken from a negative.
Occasionally , daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, cartes de visite, cabinet cards and opalotypes were hand coloured.
It’s rare for any firm to be in the hands of its founder’s grandson, let alone for the lineage to stretch back to Tudor times.
In fact, the Tercentenarian Club – the exclusive society of traders who can point to 300 years of continuous ownership – has just 12 members.
Suddenly photography was available to the masses as well as the gentry and family albums became a must for most Victorian families.
From 1866, the carte de visite was joined by the larger format cabinet card photo which was pasted onto a standard mount measuring approximately 6.5 “x 4.25″ (155mm x 110mm).
Tintypes were cheap and were still used by UK street and beach photographers in the 1940s and 1950s – long after the Second World War.
From about 1865, the opalotype on white opal glass was introduced.With a short-bladed saw in his hand and his knives tucked in his belt, Robert Balson stood at his butcher’s block, the ‘shamble’ that he’d rented from the Dorset town’s ruling guild, and sliced open a freshly slaughtered sheep.A thunder of wooden wheels along the earth ruts of the High Street told him a cart was bringing more livestock to the slaughter.To look at more precise ways of dating your family portraits, return to the Dating page.Cattle bellowing, pigs squealing, butchers yelling, customers haggling – Bridport’s ancient Shambles was a scene of gory chaos early in Henry VIII’s reign, with a slaughterhouse stench and blood running in rivers across the cobblestones.A local historian had told him that a butcher’s licence was first granted to Robert Balson in 1535, a year before Ann Boleyn was beheaded.