So in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII approved the New Style, or Gregorian calendar. In 1582, Protestant Queen Elizabeth I was not inclined to take orders from the Catholic Church. But the English people began celebrating January 1 as New Year’s Day along with the rest of Europe. That’s how double dating got started in colonial record keeping. 1 and March 25 were identified with a slash mark between the years that overlapped.
Ten days were dropped from October 1582 and leap years came slightly less often. Just as an example, records of the first parish in Brewster, Mass., show double dates: ’Eleazer Crosbeys Eunice baptized on Jan : 9 . 1731/2.’ Double dating wasn’t for everyone, as the Connecticut State Library points out.
These photographs were frequently displayed in cabinets or bookcases, hence the name.
Based on its size and composition, I confirmed that my picture was a tintype, a photographic technique that came into use in the mid-1850s and lasted until the turn of the century. But it does help me rule out a pairing of Michael and Timothy.
Knowing the type of photo can still leave a large time period, but if you know the subject of the photo, your genealogical research should be able to help you narrow that. I now turn to fashion to see if what these men are wearing can help me narrow the date range of the photo.
You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go.
See also: Safely store, display your old family photographs.