Carte De Visite
Carte de Visite (CdV) that literally translates to “visiting card” refers to a portrait of a person that he or she would mount in albums or leave at another’s house as a calling card. The carte de visite was made prominent around the middle of the 19th century when French photographer Andre Disderi took Napolean III’s picture before the Second Opium War in 1859.
However, before taking these pictures of Napolean, Disderi developed the technique of placing eight negatives on one plate.
Because these cards were about 2 x 3.5 inches, they were easy to trade between friends, relatives and business partners.
As carte de visite spread from Europe to America, this method of taking and passing around pictures branched out from simply taking a picture of famous political leaders or war generals. In fact, carte de visite albums that displayed a family’s friend and extended relatives became a popular aspect of many family living rooms.
Carte de visite was eventually supplanted when Kodak introduced the first commercial cameras, making point and shoot photography a widespread, popular hobby.