The Cabinet Card
Project info

Cabinet card refers to standard-sized photographs mounted on card measuring 10,5 x 16,5 cm (4,25 x 6,5 inches).

Cabinet card was introduced first time in Britain by Windsor & Bridge photographic studio in 1863 and it reached its popularity peak in the 1870's. Another popular format was carte-de-visite, French invention by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri from the previous decade. It was roughly the size of a modern business card, measuring 6,4 cm x 10 cm (2,5 x 4 inches) and used in a similar way - left at places visited to commemorate the visit, and were collected in beautiful albums.

The pictures were exposed on glass negatives and printed on light-sensitive paper, usually in sunlight. Enlargers were not used, instead the pictures were printed as contact copies on thin paper which needed a thick card to be mounted on. These cards often had gilded edges and they were beautifully decorated on both sides, with the name and address of the photography studio on the back.

The cabinet card went out of fashion in the early 1900s, and a hundred years later Atelieri O. Haapala brought it back. The cards were printed with traditional platen press technique and had gilded edges and rounded corners. They were made in four different colours: sepia, crimson, cream and pink.

The Atelieri O. Haapala cabinet card was introduced to public at the Alter Ego exhibition in 2012.