1. Island 21
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    Island 21 New Member

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    Photograph in 1917?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Island 21, Oct 5, 2016.

    My MC gets married in 1917. He is a fairly poor farmer in KY, and had a very small church wedding. Would there have been any photographs? His wife dies 3 years later, and am wondering if it is realistic for him to have an old photo to show as he talks about this woman he loved. They could also have attended a fair, etc where photographers were present if that is more likely. Thanks!
     
  2. Grub-r
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    Grub-r Member

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    Google told me that the first photo of a human was made in 1838 by Louis Daguerre, using the daguerreotype process of photography.

    also from this site : http://www.authentichistory.com/1865-1897/5-technology/1-photography/

    The Brownie: 1900
    In 1900, Kodak introduced the Brownie camera. Starting at $1.00, it was the first camera priced within reach of the average consumer. The camera took 2 1/4 square photographs on roll film. This Kodak Brownie, named after a popular cartoon series created by Canadian Palmer, Cox, revolutionized the industry and popularized the home "snapshot." Kodak went on to produce many different Brownie models and were popular well into the 1960s.
     
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  3. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    So just getting started then, sounds like pretty cool timing to me ;)

    BTW: $1 in 1917 would be a little under $19 today
     
  4. Scorpion02Tyr
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    Scorpion02Tyr Member

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    It's absolutely possible to have a photograph taken in 1917. Just keep in mind that there was not "auto" feature on any of the cameras back then. Making even a simple photograph back then took a lot of skill and knowledge. So having a picture made wasn't as easy or as common as it is today. Photography itself was very popular back then, especially with World War One going on at that time. The idea of having the couple get their picture made by a photographer at a fair or something is a good one, and surely historically accurate.
     
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  5. Kara Gatsby
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    Kara Gatsby Member

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    Especially since it's rural Kentucky. A county fair would be perfect.

    I don't really see a poor farmer buying his own camera or paying for a wedding photographer. Having their picture made at the fair would be more affordable.
     
  6. Iain Sparrow
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    Iain Sparrow Active Member

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    Yes, there would probably have been photographs of the couple on their wedding day.
    My mom has photographs of her Grandparents, and they lived on a farm in Moose Jaw Canada... which probably would be the equivalent of a dirt farm in Kentucky.
     
  7. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    I also wouldn't be surprised if they had their picture taken. It could really go either way, but I imagine that even a poor farmer would at least know someone with a camera. Weddings are big deals, and if you're ever going to have your picture taken it would probably be then.
     
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  8. Island 21
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    Island 21 New Member

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    Thanks, everyone. Not sure which way I will go. I'm glad to have options. I want her wedding ring to be visible, as it comes up later, but it would be in the photo either way.
     
  9. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Photography has been around since the late 1800's, but it was considered an expensive service.
    From what I have learned people would only really spring for pictures if a family member died.
    They would dress the body, pose it, and pose with it to hold onto them before burying them.
    Though I think the wealthier got more photos of their life and family before death occurred.

    So technically your MC could have been photographed if they were in the background, or the
    person with the camera opted to taking the picture.
     
  10. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    you may find this interesting http://www.fashion-era.com/Weddings/1919_old_wedding_photos.htm

    photography would certainly have been possible but it would have been very posed on account of slow shutter speeds and slow iso film , so there'd be none of the capturing of action that you see in wedding photography today
     
  11. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Plenty of photographs of UK troops going off to the Great War in 1914 (e.g. my wife's grandfather...and he was just a trooper - cavalry regiment - so not only for the rich elite) but they would have been studio portraits.
    [​IMG]
    This is a photo taken in 1915; obviously not a studio job but, equally obviously, very posed.

    Men of 10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment before the battle of Loos. 16 of their 21 officers were killed in the battle, and the unit suffered 600 casualties out of 900 - so half the men in this picture were probably dead within the month.

    I'm sceptical of @Robert Musil 's suggestion that "even a poor farmer would at least know someone with a camera", because most of his acquaintances would have been equally poor farmers.

    I'd be inclined to go with your idea of a county fair having a photographer's booth.
     

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