45 Amazing Visiting Cards Capture Portraits of American Men During the Civil War

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The carte de visite, or visiting card, a photographic format about the size of a modern baseball card, dominated the American scene coincident with the Civil War.

American Men during the Civil War

Invented in France and imported to the United States via Great Britain about 1860, it immediately became all the rage in big cities and small towns across the country.

In 1863, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes declared, “Card portraits, as everybody knows, have become the social currency, the ‘green-backs’ of civilization.”

Cartes began a gradual decline in popularity in 1866 after the introduction of the larger cabinet card format. The card photograph continued in production as late as 1920.

These amazing visiting cards from Ronald S. Coddington that show portraits of American men during the Civil War.

A good smoke and a loyal puppy

A hunter and his dog

A New York Tribune journalist after his escape from a confederate POW camp

A Survivor of the Revolution

A very, very old man

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