Thanks for checking out my project. In this project, I restore, enhance, and colorize images from the late 1840s-1860s, in an effort to make them look like they were taken yesterday.


My overall goal with this project is to bring color, clarity, and other modern digital enhancements to these old tintype photos for the sake of historical preservation and awareness. However, my ultimate aim with this project is to evoke an increased measure of understanding, empathy, and appreciation towards those who endured one of the bloodiest and most tumultuous eras in American history. I hope that additional clarity and color can help viewers to experience a familiar, relatable immediacy and greater human connection to our ancestors who lived, worked, laughed, cried, and experienced the same type of human emotions we do.

Most photos come courtesy of the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs housed in the Library of Congress.

The restorations on this page are all derived from several early photographic methods including Daguerreotypes, Tintypes, and Ambrotypes.

What are these types of images? 

Daguerreotypes, introduced in 1839, have a distinctive appearance. Because they’re reflective, you have to tilt them at a 45-degree angle in order to view the image. Otherwise, the silver-coated copper plate is often so shiny you just see yourself in the plate.

Tintypes, patented in 1856, are actually on iron, not tin. Unlike a daguerreotype, tintypes are not reflective. While you can find them in cases (like the previous two image types), most tintypes found in collections aren’t in any type of protective sleeve or case.


Ambrotypes, patented in 1854, are on glass. Backed with a dark substance (such as varnish or paper) they look positive, but when the backing starts to deteriorate, you can often see through the glass. This gives the image a ghostly appearance.

Want to support this project? Consider a monthly donation here:


Click or Tap each image for Title + More Information