Photo Identification Archives | Maureen Taylor | The Photo Detective

How to Tell Cased Images Apart?

By Maureen Taylor on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 in Photo Identification. No Comments

After years of working with clients, I expect the question before it’s asked.  As soon as someone shows me a picture in a case.  They hand me the image and ask, “What is it?” There is a lot of confusion over the types of images found in nineteenth century cases.  Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes appear in cases.  It […]


Who Are These Women? An Update

By Maureen Taylor on Friday, July 8th, 2016 in Orphan Photos, Photo Identification. No Comments

More than twenty thousand people on social media have viewed these images of the mysterious women in uniform. That’s a whole lot of eyes. Thank you for all the leads! Here’s the update. The Buildings The United States Army built Spanish Colonial buildings at many of their bases. All had tile roofs and stucco exteriors, […]


Two Small Clues In an Old School Photo

By Maureen Taylor on Thursday, June 9th, 2016 in Photo Identification. No Comments

Someone took a snapshot of these two women in an unknown setting.  This one picture is part of a set of six images.  Only this one has a recognizable background. They sit on granite stairs engraved with “Class of 1910.” The wooden landing has a fluted column in the background and a sandstone pillar decorated […]


Stop. Look. Listen to Your Family Photos

By Maureen Taylor on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 in Photo Identification. No Comments

Stop for a moment and take a look at your boxes and albums of pictures. There is a good chance that at least some of them have writing on the back or in the case of an album, underneath the image. Can you trust that information? Maybe. It depends on who wrote it. Photo captions […]


A 160-Year-Old Photographic Mystery

By Maureen Taylor on Saturday, March 27th, 2010 in Photo Identification. No Comments

I wrote about early color images in Family Tree Magazine in the March 2010 issue. Here’s a story about Levi Hill, one of photo history’s most intriguing people. He claimed to find a way to make daguerreotypes in color. This is from the Smithsonian Magazine. A 160-Year-Old Photographic Mystery


Lost Pictures: A Picture Mystery in Reverse

By Maureen Taylor on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 in Photo Identification. No Comments

At a recent conference, David E. Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch.org approached me with an interesting dilemma. He has a business receipt for a family picture, but no photograph. It’s a picture mystery in reverse. In the Abraham Rencher Papers at the Wilson Manuscript Library of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is […]


Lost Pictures: Copies in the Family

By Maureen Taylor on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 in Ask Maureen, Photo Identification. 1 Comment

This summer my mother-in-law showed me a photograph that commemorated the 50th anniversary of her great-grandparents. She asked if I could have a look and compare it to another photo of a smaller family group. Could I match up any of the people in the two photos? I love a challenge so I said, “Of […]


Ask Maureen: Scanning Surprises

By Maureen Taylor on Friday, April 3rd, 2009 in Ask Maureen, Photo Identification. No Comments

On a recent trip, a client showed me black and white scans of some tintypes. Recently he emailed me to say he’d scanned the images in color. To his surprise the scanning highlighted the fact that the photographer had colored some of the details. He wrote to ask if that was possible. The answer is […]


Ask Maureen: Foreign Photos

By Maureen Taylor on Thursday, March 19th, 2009 in Ask Maureen, Photo Identification. No Comments

Mel wrote: I have a photo that I believe is European, do you analyze non-US images? Actually, I do. I receive photographs from clients that live as far away as New Zealand. Family collections in the United States are a mix of images taken here and overseas. I maintain a large collection of foreign images […]