In 1857 in Paris, A. A. Disderi, court photographer to Emperor Napoleon III, introduced a new form of portrait photographs called cartes de visitežsmall images (approximately 3 by 2 inches), the size of calling cards, for which they were named. The true innovation came from Disderi's new camera, which used four lenses instead of one and produced a negative with four images on a single plate of glass. Photographers used this glass-plate negative to print these images on one piece of paper, which they cut apart, mounting the images on separate cards.

Now photographers could easily produce portraits in great quantities, and cartes de visite rapidly became popular throughout Europe and America. Families assembled them in albums that held celebrity pictures alongside images of relatives and friends. Literally millions of carte-de-visite images were produced between 1857 and 1870.

1. Stephen A. Douglas/ Mathew Brady Studio

2. Adele Cutts Douglas /Mathew Brady Studio

3. Jefferson Davis /Mathew Brady Studio

4. Edwin Booth and his daughter Edwina /Mathew Brady Studio

5. Anna Dickinson / Mathew Brady Studio

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