The tintype (also known as the ferrotype in the USA) was produced on a thin metal plate and was usually of a rather muddy appearance.
Tintypes were cheap and were still used by UK street and beach photographers in the 1940s and 1950s – long after the Second World War.
From 1866, the carte de visite was joined by the larger format cabinet card photo which was pasted onto a standard mount measuring approximately 6.5 “x 4.25″ (155mm x 110mm).
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Any copies required had to be photographed from the original – often with a distinct loss of quality.
By the late 1850s the carte de visite appeared, a small photograph pasted onto a standard sized mount measuring approximately 4.25″ x 2.5″ (108mm x 63mm).
Carte de visite and cabinet portraits were also enlarged, over-painted in oils or crayon and framed. By the very late 1890s and especially by the 1900s, the topographical postcard was becoming very popular.
From about 1904, many photographers responded by producing studio portraits in the postcard format – even having the words Postcard on the back so that they could be sent through the mail to family and friends.
If you are really lucky, you may have some early ones in ‘leather’ cases or in ornate shiny cases made of a black or brown plastic like material. Photography started in 1839 but at that time was really in the hands of a few scientists, professionals or wealthy amateurs.