instagram. 1850s style.


Today, February 19th, in 1856, Hamilton L. Smith received the patent for the Tintype camera in North America (US).  158 years ago, the Tintype paved the way for photography to become popular on this side of pond.  Tintype photography reached the pinnacle of its popularity in the 1860s and 70s.  The process involved the creation of a direct positive on thin sheets of iron that were coated with dark lacquer.  In its infancy, while Tintypes were made in formal settings in studios, as the technology blossomed, it became a kind of novelty of sorts in which photographers would set up booths in open air fairs, carnivals and used by roving sidewalk photographers.  Being that the lacquered iron support was resilient and did not require drying time, a Tintype print could be developed, fixed and handed over to a customer in mere minutes.  Ergo, it was the earliest form of instant photography.

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