An appreciation for tintype in Lackawanna County

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COVINGTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Tintype has been around for nearly 170 years. Eyewitness News caught up with a local artist who loves the whole process of creating a one-of-a-kind art.

WBRE/WYOU Eyewitness News photojournalist Joseph Butash takes us to Covington Township for a look at the old-style photography.

“So a tin-type is a way that they photographed in about 1850. It is a piece of metal that I load into one of those big cameras with bellows. That you put the cloth over your head. I put chemicals directly on that metal, put that directly into the camera. An image is made onto that piece of metal, and then that is a tintype,” Rebecca Daniels of Lackawanna County Tintype Project said.

In addition to the “antique looking” image, the Lackawanna County Tintype Project wants your thoughts on our most recent past.

“Capture first hand accounts of what it is like to be in Lackawanna County in during the pandemic, during the uprisings, during all of the things that have happened in the last 18 months. Just like, tell us about your life now,” Rosie Jacobson of Lackawanna County Tintype Project said.

“It is not on tin, anymore. I know how to do that process, it is a little bit more laborious then this already laborious process. So I shoot on aluminum trophy plate, which is the stuff they etch your name in on a trophy. There is no negatives. It’s very unlike modern photography in that way. Which in my estimation makes it more like an object then a photograph,” Daniels said.

Most people remember their first portrait.

“My earliest memory, probably when I was in parochial school. And my mother use to set my hair, I had thick, thick curly hair. She use to set my hair in rags because, you know, back then, then they didn’t have regular curlers and that,” Dana Resuta of Clarks Summit said.

And as for the 100 year-old camera…

“Old, antique, strange,” Resuta said with a laugh.

“They’re really these beautiful objects, and objects that will last far longer then the digital images that you will print out,” Daniels said.

“And so we are creating like these very unique, very place based, very time based, moments in peoples lives,” Jacobson said.

The hope is to have a public display of the tintypes at Marywood University sometime in the future.

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