Lewis Reed’s Hand-tinted Photos

Before the advent of color photography, photographers painstakingly applied color to black and white photos in order to show a truer visual depiction of a photo image. The hand-tinted photos of Lewis Reed and his daughter, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner are examples of this medium. The small collection of hand-tinted photographs were taken by Lewis Reed in the early 1900s. The photographs were hand-colored my my mother, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner.

Lewis Reed hand colored photoBelow are hand-tinted photos before and after. Pastel was a good choice for coloration.

Lewis Reed hand colored photo

Original photograph by Lewis Reed.

Lewis Reed hand colored photo

Original photograph by Lewis Reed. The photograph was meticulously tinted by my mother, making it look like a color photo.

Lewis Reed hand tinted photo

The art of hand tinted photos was introduced along side the daguerreotype in 1839. In the 19th century it was most common for the professional photographer to tint the photograph or tintype just after printing. Later photo artists introduced new techniques using oil, watercolor and other types of paint to achieve the desired result. With the Great Depression, the sale of professional hand tinted photographs declined, but the home artist continued to have access to hand tinting kits. There is a very informative wiki article here which provided me with the brief details I have shared with you.

Lewis Reed hand colored photographThese days, most people rely on Photoshop to digitally make such enhancements. Progress, you know …


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: