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It made me think of our feature on postcards in our Christmas issue written by photo dating expert Jayne Shrimpton that included a Christmas postcard from her collection.

This card, sent from the Sudan in 1941, features a photograph of a soldier inserted into a festive mount.

Now, after I picked myself off the floor, I tried to explain to her that there were ways to identify photos and perhaps in the future opportunities would arise that would help her figure out these long lost family members.

We received a Christmas card from the Llewellyn-Bowen family this week, Laurence, his wife and two daughters dressed up in a 1920s jazz style.

The paper backing on the photograph can tell the age of some pictures; this includes pictures that have tin that the photograph was placed on.

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In addition, clothing, photographer's imprints and even the photographic technique can help you place the photograph in a timeframe.With a date, you can narrow the field of possible suspects and even, sometimes put a name to a face as it stares back at you from the past: Look at the format.If the photograph is on a post card mount, then it won’t date before 1902. Many CDVs include the name of the photography studio.While their hair would not be short, the type of bun, bangs or no bangs can provide hints to the age of the photograph.Men’s hair styles and facial hair is not as easy to decipher the photos age.Yes, it's difficult when there is not a name on the back of the photo, but it is not impossible.

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