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Join The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor, each week as she discusses historical photos and how they fit into your family history. From ancestor identification to photo preservation, The Photo Detective Podcast covers it all. Featuring special experts from genealogy, fashion history, photo history, and restoration, it’s a not-to-miss for photo fans, genealogists, and lovers of history.
 
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show series
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by author Maud Newton – who recently published Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and Reconciliation. She and Maureen dive into what it means to have a skeleton in the closet, or an ancestor who didn’t live up to the same standards we do. It’s the embarrassing and shameful actions of our ancestors…
 
This week, Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Tom Butler, an artist whose work may be controversial to some listeners. Tom uses unidentified cabinet cards to create art, often altering the original image to enhance them, which begs the question if he is destroying the image, or creating something even better than before. Related Epis…
 
This week, Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Greg Kozlick, who helped reunite a woman with long-lost wedding photos – in the story of a photo reunion that’s sure to tug on the heartstrings. Related Episodes: Episode 32: The Man Behind Dead Fred Bonus: Lost history Discovered in the Recycling with Paul Moar Links: Returning the Slide…
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by David Shields, Carolina Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina. The two discuss his work with cabinet cards, Motion Picture Photography, and the history of stars of the silver screen as told through images. Related Episodes: Episode 169: How to Spot a Daguerreotype Cop…
 
This week Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, is joined by B. Wells Douglas, a professional photographer who has quite the following on the social media platform TikTok. B. Wells looks at slides that he’s found and digs deeper into their meaning, looking at who is in the photographs, and trying to examine why they may have been taken, who is in th…
 
Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined this week by Daniel Horowitz, Genealogist for MyHeritage. Daniel visits the podcast to discuss some of MemoryWeb’s new features, which are taking the internet by storm, or as he says, are “Cool and controversial all the same time.” With these new features, you can actually hear your ancestor “read” the…
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Peter Dumas who owns Picture This Antiques in Massachusetts. While he initially began working with vintage print advertising, he now has expanded to sell antique and vintage cameras. Peter and Maureen discuss cameras, snapshots, and photography with vintage cameras, as well as how the prog…
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Erin Waters, who has taken over the family business of FineDags.com, a website that’s dedicated to helping individuals purchase daguerreotypes and understand more about their history. Maureen and Erin talk about how to spot paper photocopies of daguerreotypes Related Episodes: Episode 105:…
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by AJ Jacobs, who is the author of multiple New York Times Best Sellers. He and Maureen talk about how we’re all related – somehow. AJ’s work delves deep into how we’re all interconnected, and not only what that means, but how we can use that principle to approach our everyday lives. Related …
 
Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined today by Dave Wilson, who owns a Victorian Photography Studio in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Dave focuses on creating authentic tintypes and ambrotypes, focusing on small details from recreating Victorian poses, clothing, and style in the images. He explains his process for getting a photo “just right,” …
 
Today Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by the Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, John Stauffer. John and Maureen dive into his book Picturing Frederick Douglass which has become a national bestseller. The two talk about images of Frederick Douglass, a…
 
Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined this week by Lora Vogt, who is the Curator of Education at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. She and Maureen discuss what was happening during WWI, and how photographs, amateur photographers, civilians, and soldiers, helped document a time that felt chaotic and ever-changing around them. They delve…
 
This week, Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Becca Bender, the Curator, and Archivist of Moving Image and Audio Collections at the Rhode Island Historical Society. The two discuss the necessity of preserving home movies for genealogists, and how movie preservation gives insight into the lives of individuals in the past. Related Epis…
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Danielle Cordovez, who is a senior librarian for the Music and Recorded Sound Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. She and Maureen discuss how sound and music are achieved, and why that matters. They discuss how something as simple as a sound recording can show …
 
This week Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, is joined by Ariel Servadio, from Gaylord Archival, who helps museums and conservation professionals preserve our cultural heritage. Ariel and Ronda Buck developed YourStory™, a collection of the same archival-quality materials professionals use to make it simple for genealogists to preserve their own …
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Amberly Russell, the Preservations Services Manager for the Permanent Legacy Foundation. Permanent is a platform dedicated to allowing individual users to preserve their photos, just as a museum would, through a digital platform. Related Episodes: Episode 95: How to Save Your Family Archiv…
 
Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is back with her monthly “Ask Maureen” series in which she answers questions submitted by her followers about photos and photo-related items. In this month’s episode, Maureen tackles: How to donate material to an archive Should you keep the folios that come with photos Researching a photo mystery from Moldavia ……
 
This week, I take a look back on my most popular podcast episode from the past year. I’m joined by David Wood, the curator of the Concord Museum in Concord Massachusetts since 1985. David and I talk about the exhibits from the museum, and how some leave lasting impressions, not only on the community but in the history that it’s taken part in tellin…
 
I’m joined by Christopher Donovan, the head of the Providence, Rhode Island chapter of Pecha Kucha (don’t worry – we discuss how to pronounce it during the episode). Pecha Kucha is a storytelling device that pairs twenty slides, chocked full of images, within twenty seconds. It’s a race to captivate your audience, all while engaging in visual story…
 
This week, The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor, takes a look back at one of her favorite podcast episodes from the past year as she examines VintageAerial.com, a project dedicated to chronicling the rural areas of the United States. Maureen is joined by Fritz Byers, President, and CEO of VintageAerial.com, and Lance Roper of Customer Engagement as …
 
In this bonus episode, I’m joined by Emma Kilburn-Smith, a mixed-media artist and graduate student who lives in Calgary. Emma made a controversial splash on the social media platform TikTok when she began sharing her work taking vintage photos and embroidering onto them. Her passion for her work is astounding, and while many were worried at the ide…
 
Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is back with her monthly “Ask Maureen” series in which she answers questions submitted by her followers about photos and photo-related items. In this month’s episode, Maureen tackles: How to tell if a painting frame is old, new, or important How to store and preserve glass slides How to scan in images with low r…
 
This week, Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Jessica Rose Harpley, an Assistant Curator at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Specifically, Jessica works in the Department of Performance, Furniture, and Textiles. Maureen and Jessica discuss one of Victoria and Albert’s latest exhibits which Jessica helped curate. Called, “Bag…
 
This week, the Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor is joined by Anthony Moss, a rabologist, or collector of walking sticks. He is the joint chairman of The Antique Walking Cane Society, a member of The International Society of Cane Collectors, based in the United States, and a speaker at Canemania, an international cane convention. I’m sure with a biog…
 
This week Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is joined by Louis Takács, a former librarian, who comes from a line of immigrants and refugees, which inspired a project to examine 20th-century migrant and immigrant lives from 1914-1925, using passport photos. One of the great hurdles that many fledgling genealogists face is Ellis Island. Known for …
 
In this month’s episode: *What did cabinet cards, cost? *What are the numbers on the back of snapshots? *What about writing on the back of photographs? *How can I determine if two photos are of the same person? Related Episodes: Episode 138: Ask Maureen July 2021 Edition Episode 125: Ask Maureen April 2021 Edition Links: Vivid-Pix Restore Sign up f…
 
You’ve probably seen the shows where ghost hunters go to spooky places to look for entities and use equipment to capture them. Well, believe it or not, one of the tools they use is special technical cameras. Behind the scenes, ghost hunters are a lot like genealogists. They look for documents and images to help determine what might be going on in t…
 
There is so much confusion about which photos depict mourning and which ones don’t. I thought it was time to have someone other than me weigh in on the controversy. My guest posted on Twitter about mourning dress and it went somewhat viral. So glad she said yes to be a guest on the podcast. Related Episodes: Episode 61: Mourning Jewelry: Fact or Fi…
 
A long time ago, my skills as The Photo Detective helped me identify photographs for press kits and textbooks. Over the years, I’ve located photos for my own publications and helped countless authors and historians with their image problems too. Today’s guest is an experienced genealogist and historian. When she needed help piecing together a photo…
 
Genealogists love going to cemeteries to view the resting place of ancestors. Information and symbolism on stones vary depending on the time period. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, some gravestones featured photographs. Have you ever seen one? My guest has. He’s been wandering in rural cemeteries in Maine to find out more about the practic…
 
This month’s Q & A is a themed podcast on postcards. Thank you to everyone that mailed me a postcard! Related Episodes: Episode 143: Ask Maureen September 2021 Episode 138: Ask Maureen July 2021 Links: Sign up for my newsletter. Watch my YouTube Channel. Like the Photo Detective Facebook Page so you get notified of my Facebook Live videos. Need hel…
 
Twitter is a social media platform that folks either love or hate. It doesn’t generate too much of an in-between feeling. It’s known for short posts and hashtags. It’s the place you go for breaking news and some groups like #GenChat use it to inspire collaboration and social interaction in the genealogy world. There are photo historians on Twitter …
 
I know that my guest’s feelings about abandoned orphan photos will resonate with you. He hates seeing a photo abandoned and unfortunately he sees a lot of them. It’s a personal mission for Kody Beltz of the Good Finch Company of Witcha, Kansas. He’s an estate and antique dealer. His eventually successful adventure using Facebook to reunite some ide…
 
How long do you spend working on a photo mystery? It might surprise you to hear that this week’s guest spent more than a decade on her photo problem. The combination of family connections and research can helped her solve several photo problems. Early on in this journey, she asked me to weigh in on her picture. It resulted in an article in Family T…
 
Every month Maureen does a live Q & A on Facebook and YouTube answering questions submitted by listeners. Have a question? Email her at photodetective@maureentaylor.com This month’s questions: How did Maureen become The Photo Detective? Summertime hazards for photos Disaster planning tips Did snapshots get mounted on card stock? Related Episodes: E…
 
Their website makes it clear that the eight-person team at Vintage Aerial loves preserving the heritage of rural America and sharing it with anyone and everyone who cares. They’ve built a website of an amazing 18 million images and growing that anyone can access. There are also photo mysteries on the site that you might be able to solve. Identify o…
 
From stamps to envelopes and postcards, my guest’s collecting passions expanded when he bought a few cards at a sale and became fascinated by the postmarks (and messages). He’s an expert on postmarks and using them as a photo clue. We chat about the golden age of postcard printing and the bits of history a postcard can convey including a link to Pr…
 
In today’s world, those of us with mobile devices communicate by texting. For our turn of the twentieth-century ancestors, it was through the mail. Imagine getting multiple mail deliveries a day and the possibilities of that communication. Postcards were a quick way of touching base with friends and family. Businesses used cards to advertise and so…
 
It’s time for another themed month. This time it's postcards. Three guests this month share stories about their personal connections with these mailable images. In this episode, English collector Mark Routh chats about his collection which spans 1869 to the present. He has some museum-quality gems. Did you know that dirigibles mailed items for thei…
 
Every month, Maureen tackles photo identification, photo preservation questions from those submitted through social media and email. You can submit a question through photodetective@maureentaylor.com This month’s questions: After scanning portraits, what to do concerning saving or discarding the card stock photo frame/folders. Will that card stock …
 
Attorney David Whitcomb purchased space for a new office and found forgotten picture history of the suffrage movement. These old photos revealed clues about local history and national politics. In our last house, we found a note from the first owner hidden beneath the wallpaper. Nothing too amazing. His name and a date. In this house, there is a co…
 
Collecting is often a hobby that starts when we’re in grade school. Did you have a childhood hobby? I did. I loved learning about family history and old photos. I’m still passionate about it today. My guest turned his hobby of collecting old photographs of famous stars of television and movies into a lifetime pursuit. At some point, he began gather…
 
A few years ago, I gave a presentation at The Varnum Armory a medieval-style building in East Greenwich Rhode Island. After the talk, members took me behind the scenes. Built in 1913, it is the headquarters for Varnum’s Regiment, a chartered unit of the RI colonial militia. Flags, banners, uniforms, artifacts, and weaponry in the collection date fr…
 
At Rootstech 2021 myself, Nancy and Christopher Desmond of MemoryWeb.me presented a three-part class on unlocking the shoebox of photos. I love partnering with those two. They have a passion for genealogy and photography. Thousands of people watched our class and asked questions about the topic. There were so many queries we decided to do a dedicat…
 
Included are ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, glass negatives, tin types, cabinet cards, photo postcards, photo strips, photomatics, and snapshots – over 100 years of social history and the development of photography. Related Episodes: Episode 116: America and the Tintype with Steven Kasher Episode 99: Finding Photographs on the Smithsonian Learning Lab…
 
Take one wedding photo, add some research and you’ll end up with quite the story. That’s the premise behind The Wedding Detectives on BBC Radio 4. Charlotte Sibtain was on The Photo Detective back in episode 44 vintage Wedding Photos. I discovered Charlotte’s Instagram feed and so did reporter Cole Moreton. Together they uncover the tales behind wh…
 
The fight for racial equality in the nineteenth century played out not only in marches and political conventions but also in the print and visual culture created and disseminated throughout the United States by African Americans. Producing printed and photographic images for activists that advanced their campaigns for black rights. Related Episodes…
 
Each month Maureen answers questions from listeners. When scanning cabinet cards, do you only do one scan of the entire front of the card which would include the border & photographer logo, or do you also make a 2nd scan of just the photo itself? Carol asked: I have a picture of my GG grandmother (1829-1901). She is elderly in the picture & wearing…
 
Two and a half years ago, Shannon Uschold of Generation Story app was a guest on this podcast. Listeners rocketed it to one of the top ten episodes where it stayed for a couple of years. I know you have heirlooms you don’t know what to do with and items you’d like to share. Two years ago, Shannon had a dream and worked tirelessly to find solutions.…
 
May became National Photography Month in 1987 when Congress recognized the role photography plays in modern society. The American Photographers Association one of the primary backers and supporters of Photography Month. There are activities, exhibits, and sales all month. Here are some fun ways to participate. With the advent of digital imaging int…
 
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