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Yesterday at the reunion, my cousin Doug Burris hauled out his box of old photographs to see if I could help him ID any of them. (I was pretty useless on his unknown photos.)

In that box were some real gems, not the least of which was an old tintype photo of Uncle Jeff (Jefferson William Burris, 1860-1941).
 photo Jefferson William Burris.jpg


When I got home and started trying to date it, it reminded me of the one of GW Burris Sr., Uncle Jeff's older brother.
 photo GeoWBurrisSr enhanced_1.jpg

I think they sat for their photos at or around the same time. I always thought great granddad looked awful young in his tintype photo, so I hauled out my book, "Dressed for the Photographer," by Joan Severa) and had a look at men's clothing styles in the 1870s.

Based on coat length (a shortened version of what was known during the 1860s as a "sack coat"), type of tie, GW Sr.'s hat, and the pose the photographer had them both using, I'm going to date both photos from 1874-1877 (when GW Sr. got married).

Tintype photographs had their heyday during the Civil War, but were produced for up to 40 years after that. These photos were the type and size that would have been purchased during a carnival or fair. Perhaps the Pope County Fair?

Cousins, right click and save as you wish.
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Dee Burris Blakley

August 2017

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