Dating 19th century photographs of men
When attempting to determine the date of creation for a cabinet card, clues can be gathered by the details on the card.
For nearly three decades after the 1860s, the commercial portraiture industry was dominated by the carte de visite and cabinet card formats.Some cabinet card images from the 1890s have the appearance of a black-and-white photograph in contrast to the distinctive sepia toning notable in the albumen print process.These photographs have a neutral image tone and were most likely produced on a matte collodion, gelatin or gelatin bromide paper.Dress details may provide additional information, such as the social status of the wearer, their occupation, and sometimes their location or region.The details need to be compared with fashionable dress of a given date, and then subtle judgments may be made, or additional data supplied through knowledge of the family tree, the photographer's name and address, or the nature of other contributory details such as studio props., or buildings and vehicles included.In the early 1860s, both types of photographs were essentially the same in process and design.
Both were most often albumen prints, the primary difference being the cabinet card was larger and usually included extensive logos and information on the reverse side of the card to advertise the photographer’s services.
People were not only buying photographs of themselves, but also collecting photographs of celebrities.
The carte de visite was quickly replaced by the larger cabinet card.
However, later into its popularity, other types of papers began to replace the albumen process.
Despite the similarity, the cabinet card format was initially used for landscape views before it was adopted for portraiture.
and it spread throughout Europe and then quickly to America and the rest of the world.