The Tintype

This tintype, as shown in its original frame, is by permission of Jerry Clark.

Tintypes (1856-1905): They were originally called melainotype, and more accurately called a ferrotype ('ferro' as in iron).  The most common tintype was patented by Hamilton Smith, in 1856, (Smith was an Ohio College physics and chemistry professor).  The image was printed on a thin black-lacquered sheet of iron and was not only cheaper than other contemporary processes but was also less fragile and thus was regularly stored in a paper sleeve, as well as sent by mail.