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Up to this stage, photos were generally one-offs, there was no negative and multiple copies were impracticable.

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).

This was a much cheaper process and allowed copies to be taken from a negative.

Also around the mid 1850s another cheap process was introduced.

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.

Explore the world of Victorian cartes de visite and cabinet cards – see all of the most popular designs.

Just a few examples are shown below to whet your appetite!

Many characteristics were short lived as new mount designs and features were constantly introduced by the printers to encourage photographers to buy more mounts so as to remain up to date and in fashion.

Whilst a ‘not before’ date can be accurately established for any particular attribute, allowance has been made in the calculations for the fact that some photographers would take longer to use up their stock of card mounts than others.

If it does not do so, because your photograph is one of the exceptions, we will custom date it personally for you at no extra cost.

To read more about how the Wizard works, see our free download How the Photo Dating Wizard Works.

There are others such as the early calotype and the revolutionary 1904 colour images called Autochromes but these are rather unusual.

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