Cartes de Visite are usually made of an albumen print. This is a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. Man sitting in a chair angles to the viewers left. Looking off camera. In a uniform with an oversize coat.
The Carte de Visite was slow to gain widespread use until 1859, when , photographer and inventor of the format, André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri, published Emperor Napoleon III's photos in this format. This made the format an overnight success. The new invention was so popular it was known as "cardomania" and it spread throughout Europe and then quickly to America and the rest of the world. Each photograph was the size of a visiting card, and such photograph cards were traded among friends and visitors. Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors. The immense popularity of these card photographs led to the publication and collection of photographs of prominent persons. The carte de visite photograph proved to be a very popular item during the American Civil War. Soldiers, friends and family members would have a means of inexpensively obtaining photographs and sending them to loved ones in small envelopes. Photos of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and other celebrities of the era became an instant hit in the North. People were not only buying photographs of themselves, but also collecting photographs of celebrities.
Printed on back: Warren/ 100/ Merrimack St./ Lowell
Written on back: Military- 2nd Colo Cav-/ Donohoe, Capt. Michael/ Capt. Michael T. Donahoe/Co. "C" 3d N.H.V. Infty/ Later, Col. 10th N.H. Regt./ Dr. #10/ Emr. #876/ #6159/ Col. B/ 2nd Colo Cav/ WR.1547.1/ If used, please credit lirary,/ State Historical Society/ of Colorado