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Antique photography is typically an image produced by a 19th-century photographic technique, and remains a popular collecting category today. The first successful photographs were daguerreotypes, which are images produced on a silver-coated copper plate. Placed in special matted cases, daguerreotypes were usually portraits.
Another popular antiquated form of photography is the ambrotype, which was a negative glass plate image. The reverse of the plate would be painted black to bring forth the image as though it was a positive. Ambrotypes are difficult to find today due to the fragile nature of the materials. Much more ubiquitous today are the carte de visite and the stereograph.
Carte de visites were small portraits made using a special camera to produce several images at once on paper. They were sized similarly to calling cards, and friends traded them back and forth, taking pride in their collection. Stereographs were a novelty, composed of two image that when looked at through a special viewer, appeared as three-dimensional. They were popular even until the early 1900s.
In 1906 the Eastman Kodak company introduced the inexpensive folding pocket camera, where the negatives were sized similar to that of a postcard, allowing for them to be printed directly onto the cardstock
Carte de visite photographs became so popular in the 1860s that Oliver Wendell Holmes referred to the small calling cards as the social currency of civilization
Daguerreotypes are unique laterally reversed images, as the image is the negative on polished silver plates. The only way to create the proper orientation was to re-photograph the daguerreotype and create a new original