READING, MASS. (WHDH) - One Reading High School teacher is bringing 19th-century photography to the classroom to show her students what photography was like before the invention of smartphones.

“You wouldn’t believe how many students don’t know what film is,” said Reading High School teacher Kathy Dailey. “I think it’s important for students if they’re going to use digital cameras, not only to use them but to actually understand how they came to be. We weren’t just born with digital cameras.”

Now with the help of a couple who runs a photography studio specializing in a form of 19th-century photography, Dailey is teaching her students how photography has evolved over time.

Maureen Feely and Dave Caramello run Evoke Tintype, a unique studio in Revere that specializes in tintype photography.

“You’re basically just seeing your image in pure silver and light, that’s all it is and it’s a magical experience,” said Feely.

Tintypes were invented in the 1850s and produce a one-of-a-kind image on metal. Some notable examples of tintype photography include photos from the old west or the iconic picture of President Abraham Lincoln.

“These pictures are near grainless,” said Caramello. “If you were to look at this picture with a magnifier you would see zero blur in the photo itself.”

“Today anyone can be a photographer if you have a cell phone, but to be a true fine arts photographer is a completely different thing,” said Dailey. “I think that Maureen and Dave could really show my students the magic of the process.”

The students at Reading High School will now have the opportunity to try 19th-century photography and make their own pictures for generations to see.

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