New American Cabinet Cards: Mount Sizes (1900-20)



Figure 1.--Juanita and G. Ward Hogan had their graduation portrait taken in 1907. As wsoften the case with these new size mounts , the studio and location was not indicated. This was one of the larger bnew sizes, 6 15/16 x 15/16. Note that the image size did not begin to fill up the mount and that impresed border pre-defined the size of the image.

The standard cabinet card for three decades was 4 by 6 inches (108 by 165 mm). The standard inches were common because at the time the metric sytem was not commonly used outside of science laboratories. This was the case both in Europe and America, There was verry little variation here. The actual photograph filled most of the mount, excet for the bottom inch or so which identified the name of the studio and location. Here with the size of the photograph there was somewhat more variation than the size of the mount. The studio could easily change the print size, but not the mount size, but the mount was designed for a certain size photographic image. We only see variations on a small proportion of the mounts. Suddenly at the turn of the 20th century, however, we see a great deal of vatrition, quite a variety of different sizes. We suddenly see both smaller and larger cards in the 20th century. We note some square cards, usually smaller sizes than the 19th century cards. We note some about 2 in square. We also see larger cards in the same general shape as the old style cards. Some were only slightly larger. The largest we have noted are about 7 in x 9 inches. There may have been some larger ones, but we do not believe that they were very common. not only werethere different size mouts, but the sizes of the photographic print pasted on the card wwere even more varied. We have nt gone into the sizes in great detail, but will do so as we expand our investigation of this topic.

Classic Mount: Standard Size

The standard cabinet card for three decades was 4 by 6 inches (108 by 165 mm). The standard inches were common because at the time the metric sytem was not commonly used outside of science laboratories. This was the case both in Europe and America, There was verry little variation here. That is why CDV ans cabbinet card albums were possible. The sizes were stndard and you just slipped them into slots. made. The actual photograph filled most of the mount, excet for the bottom inch or so which identified the name of the studio and location. Here with the size of the photograph there was somewhat more variation than the size of the mount. The studio could easily change the print size, but not the mount size, but the mount was designed for a certain size photographic image. We only see variations on a small proportion of the mounts.

New Mount Sizes

Suddenly at the turn of the 20th century, however, we see a great deal of vatrition, quite a variety of different sizes. We have no idea why this occurred so suddely and rge changes were so radical. We suddenly see both smaller and larger cards in the 20th century. We note some square cards, usually smaller sizes than the 19th century cards. We note some about 2 in square. There were several cards smaller than CDVs. And we note some small, narrow cards. We also see larger cards in the same general shape as the old style cards. Some were only slightly larger. Two popular sizes Boudoir cabinet card -- about 8.5 x 5.25 inches (21x13 cm) and Imperial Cabinet Carda -- about 9.75 x 6.75 inches (25x17 cm). The largest size we habve noted was 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 in wjich was a school portrait. There may have been some larger ones, but we do not believe that they were very common anbd we have not found them. There were not only there different size mounts, but the sizes of the photographic print pasted on the card were even varied, but here we are ionly talking about the mount sizes. We hope to go into the sizes in great detail and will do so as we expand our investigation of this topic.






HBC






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Created: 7:46 AM 5/25/2015
Last updated: 1:05 PM 10/16/2018