Adorable little in girl with a large brimmed hat in her Sunday best! The picture has a yellow cast and age spots; please see pictures for condition.
Isaiah West Taber was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts August 17, 1830. Taber went to sea at the age of fifteen and spent several years working on whaling ships in the North Pacific. He came to California in 1850, where he spent four years working first as a miner, then a farmer. Taber returned to New Bedford in 1854 where he studied dentistry and began a dental practice. An interest in amateur photography eventually became his life-work. He settled in Syracuse, New York, where he opened his first studio. In 1864 he returned to California at the inducement of the photographers Bradley and Rulofson, whom he worked for until 1871. Taber established the "Taber Gallery" at No. 8 Montgomery Street in 1871. His highly successful business was well-known for portraiture and a vast stock of California and Western views -many of which were the unacknowledged works of other photographers. Taber's success and stature in California and abroad are evident in his being awarded the photographic concession of the Midwinter Fair of 1893-94 in San Francisco, his being sent to London in 1897 to photograph the pageant of the Queen Victoria Jubilee, and his commission to photograph King Edward VII. Taber's career ended in 1906 when his entire collection of glass plates, view negatives and portraits on glass were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire. He died February 22, 1912.
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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