Marking time in May 2011
Steamship ‘Denmark’Millions of carte-de-visite photographs were produced in the second half of the nineteenth century. Almost all of them were studio portraits, but there were also a few topographic subjects like buildings and landscapes. Even rarer were cartes produced as commercial advertisements, and here is an example.
According to Norway-heritage the steam ship on the card was built in 1865 in England for the West India & Pacific Line and named the Chilian. It was soon sold to the National Line, renamed Denmark, and began carrying migrants from northern Europe across the Atlantic to America.
I’m guessing here, but I can imagine a shipping agent handing one of these little photos only to a person rich enough to afford a cabin passage. The great majority of passengers—who traveled in cramped dormitories on the lower decks—would have been lucky to receive a plain printed handbill listing ports of call and sailing dates.