Ronald, Susan and others with ambrotypes — we are trying to get a finer date for a framed ambrotype of our town’s Congregational Church. Using the “Caring for Photos” webinar and a very useful book I just started reading (“Family Photo Detective” by Maureen Taylor), I’ve been able to date it to within 16 years (1852-1868), and the photographer’s stamp is on the back (S. Bigelow), but I’m wondering if there are any other clues under the backing board, or on the back of the ambrotype. For instance, if there was a tax revenue stamp (1864-1866), would they ever put it on the back of the ambrotype itself? I’m guessing, with the photographer’s stamp on the cardboard or paper backing, probably not. My question is, should I not take the risk of introducing any outside contaminents by opening it up, or not getting it back together again, and leave well enough alone? (I have photos of the front and the back in a blog I posted last night, URL below, if anyone has suggestions.) Thanks!
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