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.
Why were carte-de-visite so popular?
Cartes de visite also contributed to the rise of celebrity culture in America. It became common to collect not only ones friends and family but also portraits of famous men and women. John Wilkes Booth was a frequent star in photo albums, if not always as popular as he would have liked on stage.
What is carte-de-visite?
1 : visiting card. 2 : a close-trimmed portrait photograph approximately 2¹/₄×3³/₄ in.
How is a carte de visite made?
The carte de visite was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. The carte de visite was slow to gain widespread use until 1859, when Disdéri published Emperor Napoleon IIIs photos in this format. This made the format an overnight success.