Pepin Old Fashioned Photos

19th Century Photographer Display

One of the great new additions to Laura Ingalls Wilder Days this year was a period photographer. “New in the Traditional Crafts Area, Robert Taunt from La Crosse, will appear as an early photographer from Brady Photographic Studio. He will show original photos, old style cameras and talk about the early photographic process. If you would like to have a photo made, he can recreate the old time sepia images from the era of Laura Ingalls Wilder.”

Photographer in costume with large old-fashioned camera
Robert Taunt, Brady Studio Photographer

Taunt doesn’t use a real tintype camera, but he has a box set up with a modern camera inside. He has filters to make it look old-fashioned like a tintype. For the fee he included two prints, one in color and one in sephia.

Sarah in her 1890s dress in set up
Me in the set up

Prints were later delivered by mail and include all rights for reprint.

Sarah in Sephia close up

Make your plan now to visit next year and get your shot done.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.


Making a Tintype

A tintype was a very popular form of early photography. It’s big advantage was that you didn’t have to lug around very heavy, very breakable pieces of glass. Instead you made the image directly on tin. George Eastman House (a museum of photography) defines it this way “Tintype: A tintype is a non-reflective, one-of-a-kind photograph on a sheet of iron coated with a dark enamel. Its most common use was for portrait photography. Like ambrotypes, tintypes rely on the principle that underexposed collodion negatives appear as positive images when viewed against a dark background. Less expensive and more durable than either ambrotypes or daguerreotypes, tintypes did not require protective cases and were often kept in simple paper frames or folders. Tintypes first appeared in the United States in 1856, and remained popular well into the 20th century.”

Read more about the process here:

Then do control-F and search for tintype within the magazine

We are lucky the early inventors of photography, instead of selling camera, sold books on how to make and use a camera so when efforts were made to replicate these images, it was as easy as following an instruction book. Tintypes needed time to develop, hence the braces to hold you perfectly still and required a lot of light, hence the frequent skylights in permenant Tintype studios.

It’s a life ambition to get a real tintype taken of me.