This week, I come to you bearing vintage cabinet card frames that you can use to make your own neat pictures! Remember, all you have to do is click the image and it’ll open in a new tab. You can download it from there.
Cabinet cards became the professional photograph of choice during the 1870s and remained that way for about 20 years. After that, personal photography became so cheap and common that they gradually fell out of style.
I like them for their size and presentation: most cabinet cards have the name of the photographer underneath the picture, or on the back of the card. Some photographers have ornate logos that are their own little pieces of art, like this one, for instance:
When I edit a cabinet card, I like to create a layer for separating out the frame so that I can save it as its own file. Some eras’ pieces are better suited to this than others. As photographers grew more confident in the process, they did some fascinating things with the card itself—scalloped edges and embossing come to mind.
That’s why cabinet card frames are valuable pieces of digital vintage for crafting.
You can start with something simple, like this, by Sharp Studios in Hamilton. We already have their logo up top! All of the frames in this post are .png, so it will be simple to just plop them on top of your images. You can thank me later. 😉
Turnbull & Sons was located in Ireland and Britain. When they assembled their cabinet cards, unfortunately, they wound up covering part of their branding. Whoops.
W. Mercer was in Edinburgh. This one’s a bit grungy from age, which really helps sell it.
This cabinet card frame is one of my favourites! The fancy edges, the gold text at the bottom—it’s so fancy!
A simple frame, lacking ornamentation or photographer name.
Now this is a beauty! It shows its age, but the decorative elements remain obvious.
Thank you for joining me this week, and be sure to tune in next week for more vintage images.
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