For is an early 1900s PICKARD’S PENNY PHOTO from Pickard Penny Photos, 63 N. Eighth Street, Philadelphia. This albumen photo features a portrait of a young man wearing a shirt with a stiff white collar. The card measures about two inches by two inches. At the turn of the 20th Century Pickard had a number of penny portrait studios across the country. To get the “penny” rate, the customer had to purchase 15 photos. Pickard adverts stated their photos were worth the price and were better than those “cheap tin type” photos. A first rate collectible vintage photograph.
Pickard’s, or their company, were at one time headquartered in Philadelphia. They reportedly worked in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, about 1885, and in Shelbyville, Indiana about 1895. They are also noted in Philadelphia, about 1905. They were in Stapleton, Staten Island, New York in about 1912. They were also in Amboy, Hoboken, and Burlington, New Jersey in about 1915.
Cabinet cards were made from the 1860s to the early 1900s. The cabinet card was an albumen print on thin paper that was mounted on thicker paper. The cabinet card reached its peak popularity in the 1880’s but continued to be used in the early 1900’s. Starting in the 1880s, cabinet cards use beveled edges which may have a gold or silver color. A cabinet card with a scalloped border indicates a cabinet card made between 1886 and 1900. The borders on a cabinet can also help date the photo. Early cabinet cards had no borders. A single line border dates to 1885 – 1900. Embossed patterns for a border were used from 1894 to 1900. Lastly, an artistic underscore is from 1886 to 1896. The color of the cardboard mount is a important. The darker colored cardboard mounts, such as brown, burgundy, green, or black were use during the 1880’s and 1890’s. The imprinted photographer’s marks or any artwork on the back of the cabinet card also help in dating the cabinet card. In general, the fancier or more elaborate the design the later the date of the photo.