Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


19th Century Actors Photographs


The 19th Century Actors Photographs collection consists of 610 cartes-de-visite studio portraits of entertainers, actors, and actresses who performed on the American stage in the mid- to late 1800s. Many of these actors and actresses were little known outside of the major theater centers of New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. Such was the popularity of the theater, though, that even good “utility” actors and actresses could justify having these photographs made. The cartes-de-visite, mounted on 2-1/2-by-4-inch card stock, could be produced cheaply and collectors were fond of purchasing photographs of their favorite performers. The card trade flourished as performers realized the publicity value of the collectible cartes-de-visite. By the 1870s-1880s millions were sold in the United States, when the process reached its greatest popularity. for more click here

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