11 Vintage Photographs of Civil War Tintypes

The aesthetic of the Civil War is synonymous with the tintype. Civil War tintypes were inexpensive and easily produced. A photographer could prepare the plate, take the photograph, and deliver a finished portrait to a customer very quickly. And while they were invented nearly a decade before, the demand from soldiers brought about their prominence. Eventually the paper photograph, which could be endlessly reproduced from negatives, surpassed the tintype in prominence.

From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs in the Library of Congress

1850-1855. Tintype.  "Private Charles H. Bickford of B Company, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment as a young boy."

1850-1855. “Private Charles H. Bickford of B Company, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment as a young boy.”

1861-1865. Tintype. "Unidentified soldier in Confederate uniform with shotgun sitting next to dog."

1861-1865. Tintype. “Unidentified soldier in Confederate uniform with shotgun sitting next to dog.”

1861-1864. Tintype. "Private George H. Hall of Kane County Illinois Cavalry Company and Co. H, 15th Illinois Cavalry Regiment with sword and handgun."

1861-1864. Tintype. “Private George H. Hall of Kane County Illinois Cavalry Company and Co. H, 15th Illinois Cavalry Regiment with sword and handgun.”

1861-1865. Tintype. "Unidentified soldier with amputated arm in Union uniform in front of painted backdrop showing cannon and cannonballs"

1861-1865. Tintype. “Unidentified soldier with amputated arm in Union uniform in front of painted backdrop showing cannon and cannonballs”

1861-1865. Tintype. "Unidentified soldier in Union first sergeant's uniform and unidentified woman in dress."

1861-1865. Tintype. “Unidentified soldier in Union first sergeant’s uniform and unidentified woman in dress.”

1861-1865. Tintype. "Brothers Private Henry Luther and First Sergeant Herbert E. Larrabee of Company B, 17th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment."

1861-1865. Tintype. “Brothers Private Henry Luther and First Sergeant Herbert E. Larrabee of Company B, 17th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.”

1861-1865. Tintype. "Unidentified young soldier in Confederate shell jacket, Hardee hat with Mounted Rifles insignia and plume with canteen and cup."

1861-1865. Tintype. “Unidentified young soldier in Confederate shell jacket, Hardee hat with Mounted Rifles insignia and plume with canteen and cup.”

1861-1865. Tintype. "Unidentified soldier in Union uniform with musket."

1861-1865. Tintype. “Unidentified soldier in Union uniform with musket.”

1861-1865. Tintype. "Edwin Chamberlain of Company G, 11th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment in sergeant's uniform with guitar."

1861-1865. Tintype. “Edwin Chamberlain of Company G, 11th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment in sergeant’s uniform with guitar.”

1961-1865. Tintype. "Unidentified soldier of the 12th Illinois Volunteers, "The First Scotch Regiment" in greatcoat and tamoshanter cap."

1961-1865. Tintype. “Unidentified soldier of the 12th Illinois Volunteers, “The First Scotch Regiment” in greatcoat and tamoshanter cap.”