Picked up a nice tintype photo off Ebay last week for $6. Very good condition, Portrait of young woman; 1/6 plate (2 1/4" x 3 3/8") Tintype , c.1875. Note hand tinted rosy cheek. Like daguerreotypes, tintypes are one of a kind photographs. They are not prints. A thin piece of metal is "japanned" (coated with a shiny black enamel and baked). Then the plate is coated with a collodion emulsion, sensitized, exposed in the camera, and finally developed. It is actually a negative image (and hence laterally reversed); the black background making the negative image appear positive.
The photo on the right is by the master English photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. I've had this print since 1975. "Fishergirl", Polly Swallow of Church St. holding fish net, c.1880, Whitby, England, Sepia toned gelatin silver print made in 1975 from the original glass plate negative. 8x10 inches.
Olema is a small town in West Marin County, North of San Francisco. It straddles the San Andreas fault line. The West side sits on the Pacific tectonic plate and the East side the North American plate. In 1906 the San Andreas fault ruptured North and South a distance of 296 miles creating dramatic earth movement in Olema. The Skinner Ranch red barn still stands today along with a section of fence which was displaced 18 feet by the great quake. The fault line passes under the Southeast corner of the barn. When the fault snapped in 1906 the barn and it's foundation shifted Northwest 15 feet dragging the Southeast corner with it.
The mansion of railroad baron A.E.Towne stood on Nob Hill in San Francisco from the late 1800's until it was destroyed by the earthquake and fire of 1906. The only thing left standing was it's white marble portico and brick facade. The portico still stands today in Golden Gate Park as a symbol of the perserverence of San Francisco.
Originally built in 1879, the ferry boat Vallejo taxied on San Francisco bay from 1898-1947. Saved from being scrapped in 1949 by artist Jean Varda, the Vallejo became home to artists, beatniks, and hippies in the houseboat community of Sausalito. Varda, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Alan Watts and a host of bohemians lived and partied on the Vallejo in the '50's, and '60's. I had the opportunity to visit an artist client who was living aboard in 1986 (b/w photo). By that time the boat was a dilapidated wreck, a survivor of the Sausalito houseboat wars of the late seventies when the city put an end to anchor-outs and squatters. After being bought by a corporation in 1999, work began to restore and remodel it into an incredible, historic houseboat that floats in it's original berth, now behind security gates.
© Joseph Greco