First Steps: Cabinet Cards
Cabinet cards are the larger version of the carte-de-visite and customers were often sold the same photo on both sizes. Cabinet cards measure 16.5 x 10.5cm and has a strip of printed card under the photo of about 1.5cm with the studio name and address printed on it.
example of a cabinet card
They were introduced in the USA in 1866, the idea it is said of G.W. Wilson. In the UK few would date as early as that, and most seem to be mid 1870s onward with an increasing number produced through to 1900.
All cabinet cards 1870s to 1900 have rounded corners, after 1900 the format changed to square corners with a mount that is visible all the way around the photo with an embossed border or design pressed in to the board. This later cabinet card persisted until about 1910 or so depending on demand. It seems that for a period after 1900 you could have rounded or square corners, this means that if you have rounded corners then it could be after 1900, but if square then you know it is not before 1899 at the earliest.
As the same studios produced carte-de-visite the A-Z list on the homepage will provide details of these studios.
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© Roger Vaughan Personal Collection 2012