All of us have seen cabinet cards, those 19th century portraits on heavy card stock you find for a buck in almost every antique shop in America. Did you ever consider the backs of these cards? Almost all have beautiful and graphic typographic or pictorial examples that advertised the photo studio or photographer. While many cabinet cards portraits (the fronts) can be relatively bland, you might want to flip the card over. Like a second chance lottery ticket—you just might have a second chance at something wonderful. These images are from Luminous Lint, the most comprehensive Web site on photography in the world. Luminous Lint is a labor of love by Alan Griffiths. (

These cabinet card backs are from the private collection of Anthony Davis, and were part of an online exhibition on Luminous Lint.
Antiq-photo Rainbow Creations

An AM repost from 2/11/09