Upon entering the site, you will find a list of features that commonly appear in historic photos. You will be prompted to click on any of the features that appear in your image. An example of the main page is seen below.
Features are divided up by time period. You will then be prompted to choose the image the closely resembles the image in your historic image. Below is an example of the type of chart found in many of the secondary pages.
A date or date range is provided for each time period, along with additional information on the history and evolution of that feature. Below is an example of the information provided for a specific feature.
Keep the following points in mind when dating your photographs:
1. The information is not definitive; there may be features in your image that do not appear in the site, and the features in your image may not exactly match the examples provided. For example, although most builders and architects followed architectural trends, it may be possible to find a house that abandoned traditional architectural trends.
2. Although fashions and technologies changed from decade to decade, not all former trends were rendered obsolete. For example, a 1920s car may still appear in the 1930s.
3. The most effective way to date your historic image is to analyze as many features as possible. For example, the appearance of a car from the 1920s may indicate a 1920s or even a 1930s date. However, a woman also appears in a 1930s era dress. Therefore, it is likely a 1930s photograph.
4. There is room for error in dating historic photos. Do not take the proposed date of your historic photo as absolute fact. If you are unsure of an exact date, use "circa" when recording the date.