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The Ronald G. Becker Collection of Charles Eisenmann Photographs Using the Collection The collection of 1412 images can be accessed via the Library's CONTENTdm server and is fully searchable by keyword, subject, and image number. The item level inventory of the collection (in Excel) can help with formulating searches and sorting. About the Photographs The most common method of photography during the 1870s and 1880s was the wet plate albumen process. Albumen prints are characterized by a warm sepia tone that distinguish them from later silver gelatin prints. Eisenmann's images are noted for particularly being sharp, clear, and well-posed. The most common formats were cartes de visite and and cabinet cards. These consisted of an albumen print mounted on stiff board with advertising notices printed on the back. Cartes de visites were most popular from about 1860 until 1885, when they began to be replaced by the larger cabinet cards. Both cartes de visites and cabinet cards could be mass produced, were easily affordable, and could be conveniently collected into albums or shared or traded with friends. The advantages of these popular formats helped Eisenmann establish his peculiar niche in the early decades of commercial photography. The verso of many of Eisenmann's photographs contained his characteristic tagline, "extra inducements to the theatrical profession," which reflected the emphasis he placed on his primary clientele. In addition to photographing his own subjects, Eisenmann also printed negatives shot by other photographers for publications like the New York Clipper. This "copy work" increased later in his career and was commonly performed by his successor, Wendt. Technical Information