Carte de Visites and Cabinet Cards
This set of carte de visites and cabinet cards are a small selection chosen from hundreds of examples held in the photography collection at George Eastman House.

The carte de visite (CDV)—a paper photograph mounted on card stock measuring approximately 4 x 2.5 inches—was the most popular format for portrait photography in the nineteenth century. A CDV was roughly the same size as the visiting cards that gave the format its name.

CDVs were often exchanged between family and friends and were collected in specially made albums. The format became popular in the late 1850s when a technique was developed for making multiple negatives on a single glass plate and it remained popular through the 1860s. The larger cabinet card format (6.5 x 4.5 inches) gradually eclipsed the popularity of CDVs.

Celebrities were a popular subject of both carte-de-visites and cabinet cards and were widely collected in the last part of the nineteenth century. Cabinet cards lost their popularity in the early 1900s and largely disappeared by the end of World War I.
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