The albumen printing process gave photographers better reproduction of detail, a wider tonal range, and greater print stability than the salted paper process that preceded it. It remained the photographic process of choice throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. Stereographs, two nearly identical photographs mounted side by side and seen through a special binocular viewer, created an impression of three-dimensional space, and were immensely popular for educational and entertainment purposes.

New Orleans Mechanics’ and Agricultural Fair
albumen stereograph; 1866
by Theodore Lilienthal
The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2010.0095.46



The Fountain, Canal Street
albumen stereograph; 1876
by Samuel T. Blessing
The Historic New Orleans Collection, 1995.68