Duluth Tintype Photography

Duluth Tinplate 1 Duluth Tinplate 2 Duluth Tinplate 3

The latest Duluth artifacts to fall in my lap are three unlabeled tintypes — photos processed onto thin sheets of metal. I don’t think I’ve come across Duluth tintypes before, but surely others must exist, so I post here with the hope that someone can enlighten me in the comments section and perhaps share their own tintypes.

Obviously there are many Duluth photos in the style of the ones above, printed on paper, so the tintype novelty is kind of lost when posting scans on a website, but that’s no reason to hold back.

How did I acquire the tintypes above? Well, it turns out my father has had them for ages. The gentleman without the mustache in the photos is my great grandfather, Andrew Andren, founder of Andren’s Paint Company in West Duluth. Andren’s has been in business since 1896, and that might roughly be the year of the tintype photos. The name of the other guy is not known.

Below is an instructional video about the tintype process to provide a better idea of how these portraits were made.



about 5 years ago

The story behind these are very cool. I had no idea that you were descended from the Andren of Andren's Paint. Did your family sell directly to the Olson's who have owned it for many years?

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Pete Olson is my cousin, so it's still in the family -- fourth generation. Our grandmother was adopted, as was my father, so the blood line to Andrew Andren isn't there, but every family tree has twisted branches.

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