SELF AND THE WORLD: EXPERIENCING PHOTOGRAPHY IN 19TH-CENTURY NORWALK
Now that people could collect so many photographs, they needed a place to put them. To fill the need for storage and display, albums were manufactured. Pages held slots for cartes de visite or tintypes and later the larger cabinet cards.
Families kept albums in the parlor for visitors to peruse. Newlyweds would combine their albums into one. It was typically women who were in charge of the family photo album. In addition to family photographs, albums often included photos of prominent politicians like Abraham Lincoln, objects of interest or other curiosities.
The end of Elsie Hill’s family album contains pages of Native Americans and waterfalls, for instance.
Albums structured individuals’ relationships to family and sometimes to the nation.