The premier 19th Century photo gallery

Other 19th Century Processes

Salt Prints and Calotypes
The calotype (from the Greek meaning beautiful picture) was the invention of Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot, who announced his invention within two weeks of Daguerrres in 1839. Two years later he patented his paper photograph. The process produced a paper negative and the positives were on salted paper (Salt prints).

The calotype negative made it possible for multiple images, of varying quality, to be made. However there were far less practitioners of the art, as the daguerreotype was the choice of the day.

Due to the flimsy paper they were printed on and the effects of one hundred and fifty years of wear and tear, only a small quantity of calotypes and salted paper prints have survived.

Carte de visites, Cabinet Cards & Tintypes
Tintypes were another version of the use of Collodion. In this case the medium was tin instead of glass. The advantage of tin was that it was not fragile, could be sent through the mail and could be easily carried. They were also relatively inexpensive.
The Carte de visite, also used collodian, and was invented by the famous French photographer Andre Disderi in 1854. Their similarity to a visiting card and the relatively easy production, made them hugely successful. People not only wanted to have their own carte de visites, they wanted cartes of famous personalities from royalty to actors, which they put in albums alongside of their family portraits.

In 1866 the demand for collectible cartes led to the invention of the cabinet card. These larger images, averaging 5 ” x 4″ were originally created for theatrical portraits of the famous actors and actresses of the day, but soon came the demand from the public for their own cabinet cards.