Time is unkind to this format often leaving only a dark hint of the original image.
These portraits were photographed direct onto the surface
Each one is unique.No negative was involved in the process.
Itinerant photographers, the majority of whom operated at the seaside or fairgrounds, took these photos for immediate purchase, with the minimum of equipment.
Invariably the tintype is framed in a mount of thick card similar to that used for beer mats.
These mounts are often printed with a simple bold picture or design.
The chemistry involved in this format means that the black sections of the photo are the bare background plate and the white is a thin layer of the metal silver.
Silver turns black as it tarnishes.When these photographs deteriorate,and they always do, the light areas go grey then dark grey, then black, and the image disappears. If you can please digitally scan them for posterity.
Usually tintypes are on black laquered metal sheet and sometimes show signs of rust on the back. They are also found on a black coated card base.
In his book "As I Walked out one Midsummer Morning" Laurie Lee relates how he had his portrait taken by this method.