*Note: In January, 2005 this section of our site was expanded and rearranged. If an image is not in an expected place, please try one of the other pages from the list at the bottom of the page.
-Spirit Photographs in our collection - Carte-de-visites
Carte-de-visite Spirit Photographs
-Test Spirit Photograph

The 1875 carte-de-visite below seems special enough to be shown larger than the other cdv cards on the site. The front and back of the card are enlarged from the approximately 2 1/2" by 4 1/8" size so that the text would be easy to read.The front of the card shows a seated woman holding an object (book, fan) in her hands. Over her floats a vague image of a woman looking down at two small children in her lap. This would be a fine, but not extraordinary, example of spirit photography except for the text on the reverse side. This details how a test of the spirit photographer, Jay J. Hartman, was conducted by a panel of sixteen "respectable, intelligent gentlemen" in a photography gallery he had never visited before the test, with a plate he never touched, and developed in a darkroom he did not enter. He simply rested his hand on the camera during the exposure.

Is this proof that this is indeed a real spirit photograph?

Test Spirit
Test Spirit 2
-Other Spirit Carte-de-visites

In addition to our Mumler carte-de-visites shown on page 1 and the test card above we have the 3 spirit carte-de-visites shown below.

The first two are of an unidentified couple with two spirits hovering over each of their heads. We acquired them in a modern double frame and because they are mounted on similar cards and sit in the same chair we think of them as husband and wife. There is no identifying information and no photographer's back mark on the pair.

The third cdv is of a elderly woman with the specter of a bearded man appearing beside her. The backmark shows Carl Meinerth of Newberyport, Mass. as the photographer. A credit line names him the patentee of the Mezzo-tinto Photo Process in 1867. We have found no mention of spirit photography in connection with Meinerth.

Spirit CDV 1

Spirit CDV  2
Spirit CDV  3

*Note: In October, 2007 this section of our site was expanded and rearranged. If an image is not in an expected place, please try one of the other pages from the list below.

Spirit Photographs: How our collection started/Brewster & Mumler
Spirit Photographs: A Tintype Spirit Photograph *added 10/07
Spirit Photographs: Carte-de-visite spirit photographs < You are Here
Spirit Photographs: Carte-de-visite of a spirit drawing *added 1/08
Spirit Photographs: Cabinet card spirit photographs

Spirit Photographs: Post card spirit photographs
Spirit Photographs: Post cards of unknown mediums
Spirit Photographs: Doyle and the Spirits *added 10/07
Spirit Photographs: How to make a fake spirit photograph
Spirit Photography: Bibliography & Links

Related interests of the Victorian Era and early 20th century in our collection:
Memento Mori - Remembering the departed: post mortem and memorial photography in the 19th and early 20th century
Mesmerism - "Flint the Mesmerist"
Phrenology - The study of human personality from the shape of the head

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Contact us at studio@brightbytes.com

**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the GoAntiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

Please feel free to write us if you want to chat or share information about areas we collect but we will NOT give appraisals.

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Updated on 10/2007