Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tintype Photo: Frances Philomena Guth & Theresa Loll (1884 - 1886)

This Guth family portrait is a tintype photograph and is one of the oldest photographs in the collection. It was previously believed there were few photographs available from this side of the family. This tintype and several others were located earlier this year in the photo collection of Frances Philomena Selker. It is simply remarkable these photographs have survived and that they are approximately 130 years old!

To view the other tintype photographs visit the blog posts:
After locating the tintypes I engaged Gary Clark from to assist me. Gary is an expert in dating old photographs - tintypes being one of his specialties. He is estimated that the photograph was likely taken between 1884 and 1886. The studio props and background were typical for photographs taken in the mid 1880's. The ladies Victorian dress style with many button dates to the mid 1880's. His professional opinion was that this photograph was a family portrait of a mother with a daughter. There is a matching tintype to this one that also includes a man to view this photograph please visit the post Tintype Photo: Guth Family Portrait (1884 - 1886).
Michelle M. Murosky: The Guth Collection &emdash; Frances Philomena Guth & Theresa Loll
Original Photograph with digital restoration.
Armed with Gary's notes I went to work to estimate who the people were in this photograph. The original tin type is very dark. When I first lightened up the digital image it was very clear these people were related to my family. My paternal grandmother, Mary Eugina McDonald, bears a striking resemblance to the woman on the left. At this point I had a strong feeling this woman on the left was Frances Philomena Guth - her grandmother. The dates checked out and the woman resembled another photograph of Frances Philomena Guth that is from the mid 1890's. To view that photograph visit the blog post  Family Photo: Frances Philomena Guth and Joseph William Selker.

The ladies in the portrait are believed to be Frances Philomena Guth (L) with her mother Theresa Loll (R). Frances Philomena Guth would have been between 21 and 23 in this photograph. Her mother Theresa Loll would have been between 49 and 51 in this photograph.

The family was one of the prominent families in Clarion, Clarion County, Pennsylvania in the late 1800’s. Leopold Guth owned his own jewelry and watch making business. The family’s prominence is demonstrated by the clothing the ladies are wearing and because they could afford to have their photograph taken. Some other details are also present - Frances Philomena Guth is wearing drop style earrings which are less noticeable in the other tintype photograph. Some additional details are also present in the other tintype photograph -  a large ring and a large broach.

Michelle M. Murosky: The Guth Collection &emdash; Frances Philomena Guth & Theresa Loll
Frances Philomena Guth wearing Drop Earrings 
Tintype photographs have a unique mirror-like finish. This particular tintype was hand tinted to add color to the faces. The surface of the original contains many scratches. Some of the damage was able to be removed during the digital restoration process. Due the amount of damage some of the scratches were unable to be corrected and can be observed in the whitish looking appearance on the photograph.

This tin type and several others were included in the Frances Philomena Selker Collection. Frances Philomena Guth appears to have ended up with these photographs. She passed the photographs down to her daughter Frances Philomena Selker. Frances' daughter Mary Eugina McDonald ended up with her mother's photo collections which is time were handed down to me. Photographer Unknown. Editing and digital restoration by Michelle M. Murosky.

Theresa Loll is my 3rd great-grandmother. She is the mother of Frances Philomena Guth, my 2nd great-grandmother, Frances Philomena Guth was the grandmother of Mary Eugenia McDonald my paternal grandmother. 

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