|| With cameras
continuing to improve--and the invention of the negative/positive photo paper
process--large display prints called "cabinet cards" became extremely popular
beginning in the mid 1870s, effectively supplanting tintypes as the dominant portrait
medium. Such prints could be produced in almost any size, and they were
proudly displayed in wrought-silver frames on fireplace mantles or in the front parlors
where guests were received. |
Around the same time, palm-sized photographs known as
carte de visites became all the rage as personal calling cards. Each
little picture cost only a few pennies, and they could be printed by the dozen.
Because pets were part and parcel to many people's public persona, animals frequently took
the spotlight on these cards, and in some instances they supplanted their
These cards were traded and kept for
posterity in the first bound picture albums, along with ribbons, pressed flowers and other
mementos, marking the beginning of a "scrapbooking" trend that continues to this
top: American cabinet card, ca.1887
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