Dating old photos cabinet cards
Another extensive online resource is the Library of Congress.
Enter a photo type into its search engine and you will see many examples that may turn out to be similar to the photograph you are researching. Both the men in my photo are young, but one appears to be older than the other, and he has arm slung around his younger brother's shoulders. The elder is wearing a watch chain and a pinky ring. Michael was seven years older than Peter, who was seven years older than Timothy.
Therefore, a particular design of card mount used in Manchester would be used at approximately the same time in York and Brighton as well – in fact countrywide.
Many characteristics were short lived as new mount designs and features were constantly introduced by the printers to encourage photographers to buy more mounts so as to remain up to date and in fashion.
Although some cabinet cards depicting landscapes can be found, most featured Victorian-era portraits of individuals or families—it was popular to mail cabinet cards to friends and family living abroad.