This sweet young boy is where his policemans outfit with a shiney star on his chest. He is riding a steel wheeled tricycle. The birth of the tricycle coincided almost simultaneously with the birth of photography in the mid-nineteenth century. Therefore tricycles and bicycles and their owners were often popular subjects of photographers. Due to the cost of early bicycles and tricycles, often only the well-off could afford them, and the same went for early photography.
Early photographs such as CDV's, cabinet cards, ambrotypes, and daguerreotypes with images of tricycles are quite rare and somewhat valuable. The Carte de visite process was quickly replaced by the larger Cabinet cards. In the early 1860s, both types of photographs were essentially the same in process and design. The primary difference being the cabinet card was larger and usually included extensive logos and information on the reverse side of the card to advertise the photographer's services. Some cabinet card images from 1890s have the appearance of a black and white photograph in contrast to the distinctive sepia toning notable in the albumen print process. These photographs have a neutral image tone and were most likely produced on a matte collodion, gelatin or gelatin bromide paper. Sometimes images from this period can be identified by a greenish cast. Gelatin papers were introduced in the 1870s and started gaining acceptance in the 1880s and 1890s as the gelatin bromide papers became popular. Matte collodion was used in the same period. A true black and white image on a cabinet card is likely to have been produced in the 1890s or after 1900. Owing to the larger image size, the cabinet card steadily increased in popularity during the second half of the 1860s and into the 1870s, replacing the carte-de-visite as the most popular form of portraiture. The cabinet card was large enough to be easily viewed from across the room when typically displayed on a cabinet, which is probably why they became known as such in the vernacular. However, when the renowned Civil War photographer, Mathew Brady, first started offering them to his clientele towards the end of 1865, he used the term, "Imperial Carte-de-Visite." Whatever the name, the popular print format joined the photograph album as a fixture in the late 19th century Victorian parlor. The cabinet card still had a place in public consumption and continued to be produced until the early 1900s and quite a bit longer in Europe. The last cabinet cards were produced in the twenties.
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