Slightly More Complicated than a Point and Shoot

Identifying Cased Photograph Processes

Daguerreotype (1839-1860):(rare) A photograph on a copper plate covered with a layer of finely polished silver, identified by its mirror-like highly reflective surface.

Ambrotype (1851-1870): (rare/common) An underexposed collodion negative on glass backed with a dark background material – either paper, fabric, or applied lacquer, identified by its requisite backing, glass support, and non-mirrored surface.

Tintype (1853-1930s):(common) A positive collodion photograph on a sheet of lacquered iron, usually duller in appearance than ambrotypes and magnetic.

Pannotype (1853-1880): (rare) A collodion silver photograph on a black-waxed textile fabric, which looks quite dark and dull, and is not magnetic.

Crystoleum (1870s-WWI): (very rare) A very thin monochrome (usually albumen) photographic print adhered to the inside of curved glass with a hand-colored image behind it, which appears like a miniature painting on glass.

Ivorytype (mid 1850s-?): (very rare) A term used to describe several different processes, all of which resulted in positive images resembling hand painted ivory miniatures.

Opalotype (1857-1930): (very rare) A positive (made from a negative) on opal glass – a white translucent glass.