While digging through the photos at Truly Tattered I found this wonderful example of how CdVs (cartes de visite) were used. The young man pictured wrote a brief note on the back, which says “your friend and classmate, John O. Andrews, State Line (something) June 1867.” The photo was made in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I’m struggling with the possible location of State Line. The abbreviation looks like “Ne,” meaning Nebraska but those types of abbreviations weren’t in use in the 1860s. There is a State Line City, Indiana which is on the opposite side of Indiana from Michigan. There also used to be a town called Stateline in Wisconsin, which was on the border of WI and the Michigan UP. Stateline is now the town of Land O’ Lakes after the town of Donaldson moved over after a fire. There are also at least two towns called State Line in Pennsylvania on the border with Maryland.
Regardless, Mr. Andrews addressed this card to a friend he hoped would remember him. This is the precursor to the school portrait and the trading of wallet sized photos during the final assembly at school that takes place even today.