Madeleine’s ambrotype

Continuing on the theme of what we can learn about life in 1850’s Scotland from the trial of Madeleine Smith, one interesting detail is that she exchanged ambrotypes (an early type of glass plate photography) with her lover, at around the same time that Rochlitz was running his photographic studio in Beechworth, half a world away.

What this reinforces is that portrait photography was already widely adopted by the mid 1850’s and was reasonably affordable.

The exchange of photographs between lovers as a habit is particularly interesting given that only a few years before photography was still nothing more than a gentleman’s plaything …

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About dgm

IT professional, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical and medieval historian ...
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