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Invented in the 1850s, hyalotypes were used in “Magic Lanterns” where their positive images on glass plates were projected onto screens.

They were widely popular until modern slides came along in the 1950s.

Cream mounts were always popular, but bolder, dark colours like black, dark brown, green or burgundy began to appear in the 1880s and 1890s.

If you’re a passionate family history buff like us, everyone from your mother to your Great Aunt Sally knows that they can pawn off boxes of old family photos for you to peruse to your heart’s content.

They were introduced in the 1860s and gradually superseded the smaller carte de visite format.

The front of the card is usually printed or embossed with the photographer’s details, and the back of the cabinet card is often printed with elaborate designs.

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Cabinet cards are photographs mounted on stiff pieces of cardboard.The popularity of the cabinet card waned around the turn of the century, particularly after the introduction of the photographic postcard, but they were still being produced right until the First World War.Size The cabinet card was basically a larger version of the carte de visite.Edges By the 1880s, cabinet card mounts sometimes had bevelled edges, and were often finished in gold or silver.Colour The colour of the cardboard mount can also help date the photograph.

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