History of Cabinet Photos

Collecting Photography>Cabinet Card Photos

Cabinet Card-Lady in Fancy Hat

Cabinet Card-Lady in Fancy Hat


Introduced: 1866.

 First used for horizontal views, then eventually adapted for portraits.

Peak popularity: 1880s.

Although not uncommon in the 1870s, the cabinet card did not displace the carte de visite completely until the 1880s.

Decline: 1890s.

As snapshot and personal photography became commonplace among the public, the popularity of the cabinet card and cabinet card specific albums waned. Unmounted paper prints and the scrapbook albums started replacing them. A variety of other large card styles of various names and dimensions came about for professional portraits in the 1880s and 1890s. After 1900, card photographs generally had a much larger area surrounding the print quite often with an embossed frame around the image on heavy, gray card stock.

Last Used:

The cabinet card still had a place in public consumption and continued to be produced until the early 1900s and quite a bit longer in Europe. The last cabinet cards were produced in the twenties.

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