In 1854 the Frenchman Disdéri patented the carte-de-visite (visiting card) photograph. For a time he was the most celebrated Parisian photographer and his wealth was the talk of the city. A German visitor described his studio as 'the Temple of Photography - a place unique in its luxury and elegance'. Disdéri is reported to have sold three to four thousand francs' worth of portraits a day. Because of its ease and speed of use, his invention began to be imitated the world over. However, when he died in a public hospital in Paris in 1889, he was deaf, blind and destitute.