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Photographers began employing artists to retouch photographs by altering the negative before making the print to hide facial defects revealed by the new format.
Small stands and photograph frames for the table top replaced the heavy photograph album.
However, as with all technological innovations, the public increasingly demanded outdoor and candid photographs with enlarged prints which they could frame or smaller unmounted snapshots they could collect in scrapbooks.
Owing in part to the immense popularity of the affordable Kodak Box Brownie camera, first introduced in 1900, the public increasingly began taking their own photographs, and thus the popularity of the cabinet card declined.
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.
Sometimes images from this period can be identified by a greenish cast.
Gelatin papers were introduced in the 1870s and started gaining acceptance in the 1880s and 1890s as the gelatin bromide papers became popular. A true black-and-white image on a cabinet card is likely to have been produced in the 1890s or after 1900.
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.
Photo album manufacturers responded by producing albums with pages primarily for cabinet cards with a few pages in the back reserved for the old family carte de visite prints.
For nearly three decades after the 1860s, the commercial portraiture industry was dominated by the carte de visite and cabinet card formats.
When attempting to determine the date of creation for a cabinet card, clues can be gathered by the details on the card.
The type of card stock or whether it had right-angled or rounded corners can often help to determine the date of the photograph to as close as five years.The cost: .00 (more than a weeks pay for most people). Calotypes were never widely popular, and most of those surviving are in museums. In their place, paper folders of the size of the then popular card photographs were used for protection.