Sherry, Tintypes came into existence in 1856, and were pretty much gone by 1900, although some were made as curiosities at Coney Island into the 1930's.
The process was a bit too advanced for amateurs, so I'd suspect the plate was made by a professional. In the late 1870's, most pros would have preferred a wet-plate negative, as they could then make many albumen prints. The tintype process produced only one positive.
Tintypes are not on tin or a tinned plate; the plate was iron, coated with a dark japan lacquer. Collodion was then stuck to the front surface of the plate, and this held the image.
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