Cabinet cards, popular in the late 1800s, are easy to recognize because they are mounted on cardstock, often with an imprint of the photographer and location just below the photo. There are similiar card-type photographs, such as the smaller carte-de-visite which was introduced in the 1850s, but if your old photo is about 4x6 in size then chances are it is a cabinet card.
Most of us have one of these cabinet cards in our collection of old ancestral photos, which tells us it was most likely taken between about 1870 and 1900. But you can also further narrow down the time when the photo was taken. Learn how to identify the popular cabinet card, and how to use clues such as cardstock weight and color, and the type of border, to narrow down the time period when the photo was printed.