Washington County Genealogy_PAGenWeb Project_Photographic Terms and Types of Photos / Photographs

Some Photographic Terms


  • Albumin Print
    Introduced in 1850. These are the most common prints in the 19th century. The paper is coated with egg albumen and sodium chloride. This gave the prints a glossy surface and sepia tone. Albumin prints were in use until about 1900.
  • Ambrotype
    Introduced in 1854. An Ambrotype will appear positive from any angle. Unlike a Daguerreotype which will appear negative when viewed from various angles.
  • Backmarks
    The photographer's name on the back of the photo. Can be quite elaborate.
  • Blind Stamp
    The photographer's imprint embossed into the photograph's mount.
  • Cabinet Cards
    Larger versions of Carte de viste, and taking the place of the CdV by in popularity in the late 1860's. Cabinet Cards have the photographers name on the front. They are also larger than Carte de viste - 4 x 6.
  • Carte de viste
    (Visiting Card) The are 4 x 2 . These cards were introduced in 1854. By 1860 they had become popular By 1866 Cabinet cards were taking over the place held by Carte de viste (CdV).
  • Daguerreotype
    Invented in France in 1839. Popular throughout the mid-nineteenth century. A Daguerreotype has both negative and positive images in the image.
  • Tintype
    Introduced in the mid 1850's and in use until about 1900. Commonly used during the Civil War. These were very inexpensive during the time frame when they were being used.


"Photo Terms" is included here, courtesy of Christina Hunt.



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This page last updated Thursday, February 04, 2016