Photo Studio Circa 1900

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ernadyanty, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Hello fellow photographers,

    I am a photographer and a curator in a Museum. I'm doing a bit of research on
    what a photo studio in the 1900's would look like. We are trying to recreate
    this studio in our museum for an upcoming exhibition.

    Can anyone help me with details on what a photo studio looked like in circa 1900?
    Possibly from photos and books i can refer to or links?
    any ideas at all.

    thank you very much for your support.

  2. Erna, your date of 1900 is at a point in time when the popular product of previous decades, the 'Carte de Visite' photo was being superseded by the 'Cabinet' photo. Cartes de Visite were about 4 x 2.5 inches. They were often produced by taking photos in sequence on to a larger plate then contact printing to make the finished article. The size was small but handy for the original visitibg card purpose. Earlier in the 1850-60 period these photos would have been daguerrotypes and so were unique in contrast to the later processes which permitted mass production from a negative plate. As a result these early one-off photos had a scarcity value and were often mounted in elaborate frames called Union Cases. That tradition continued to some extent to the period you are interested in but the CdV size was being superseded by the Cabinet photo which was usually 4 x 5.5 inches. Charges in UK (probably in line with US) were : 12 CdV size shots (one sitting) - one guinea (1.05 GBPounds) 12 Cabinet photos (one sitting) - 2 guineas (2.10 GBPounds) The change from cased photos to paper prints gave rise to the demand for photo albums which could be very elaborate. They were often made for display and could contain a clock or musical box movement.
  3. Here is a photo album from 1890 with a nice clock :) That will look impressive on the drawing room table!
  4. Notice the huge windows in the photographs. The main thing was lots of light, as the lenses and film were slow, electricity was uncommon and flash powder was dangerous.
  5. During the early 1900's, flash powder was very popular. Here is an example of an 1886
    Hayden & Co. Flash Lamp (Magnesium Powder). It is still put to use by me for night
    photography. I also use a 1904 Seneca Improved View Camera.

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