This individual portrait is a tintype photograph and is the oldest photograph in the entire photo collection. It is simply remarkable this photograph survived and that it is between 145 and 143 years old! 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. To view another one of the tintype photographs visit the blog post Tintype Photo: Guth Family Portrait (1884 - 1886).
After locating the tintypes I engaged Gary Clark from PhotoTree.com 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 in the 1870's. The use of the fringe chair and the heavy lace collar were typical of the early 1870's. The dress the child is wearing also has frilly sleeves.
Frances had two older sisters - Mary Ann Guth and Amelia Guth. In 1870 Mary Ann would have been 13 and Amelia would have been 12. The child included in the photo was younger appears to be younger than 12. She also had a younger sister Theresia Guth who was born in 1869. If the photograph was taken in the early 1870's Frances would have been 7 or 8 years old and is the most likely candidate to be featured in the photograph.
Frances was the daughter of Leopold Guth and Theresa Loll. 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 fact that photographs were taken and by the style of the clothing.
Tintype photographs have a unique mirror-like finish. This particular tintype is older than the others and has sepia like appearance. 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.
Frances Philomena Guth is my 2nd great-grandmother. Her daughter Frances Philomena Selker married Loraine Anthony McDonald. Their daughter Mary Eugenia McDonald is my paternal grandmother.