Survey Results: What’s the Oldest Photo in Your Collection?

The votes are now tallied.  Here are the numbers:

100% of survey takers have photos of their parents.

100% have photos of their grandparents

95% have photos of their great-grandparents

77.6 % have images of their great-great-grandparents.

I still looking at the answers to the question, “What’s the oldest photo in your collection?” The majority of answers mentioned images from the 1880s with another group claiming no photos before 1900.  Only a few people mentioned images from the 1850s.

Thank you very much for taking the time to participate in the survey!!

3 Responses to “Survey Results: What’s the Oldest Photo in Your Collection?”

  1. Mary S. Dobard says:

    Dear Maureen,
    I’m sorry I wasn’t able to participate in the survey. Were many photos taken in the 1850s? I have a couple of photos that were identified as been my great-great-great-great-grandfather! If so, he was born 1774 and died 1856!
    The cardboard is a cream color with no design; the photo is creamy beige in color. Plain square. No lines. On the back is an elaborate A with the name Allen 24 temple Place, Boston. Could these photos actually be from the 1850s? I have been unable to find information about the photographer. The second photo is likely to be his wife who died in 1866. Oh, the size is abt 4×2 1/2.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Best regards,

  2. Deb says:

    Missed the poll, but mine are from the 1870s on up!

  3. JJT says:

    If you haven’t found any answers yet, I ran a quick search of that name and address in Boston and found some info:

    This first link leads to a Google Books mention of photographer “Edward L. Allen” and this address:

    A search for his full name returns a fair number of references:

    That includes a Wikipedia entry that states he “He kept a studio on Temple Place in Boston, Massachusetts (ca.1868-1871)”, using Boston City directories of those two years as reference.

    Perhaps there are earlier Boston directories that might determine when they first began business?

    To go a little further, the link below (you may need to click on Page 101) goes to a magazine mentioning Mr. Allen’s death in 1914 and his work in the photography firm of “Allen and Rowell.”

    A Google search of that company name in quotes returns quite a few references to images with dates – the earliest I saw in a quick check was circa 1865.

    Good luck!

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