Niépce's associate Louis Daguerre went on to develop the daguerreotype process, the first publicly announced and commercially viable photographic process.
Apart from a very uncertain process used on the Turin Shroud there are no artifacts or descriptions that indicate that anyone even imagined capturing images with light sensitive materials before the 18th century.
The type of card stock or whether it had right-angled or rounded corners can often help to determine the date of the photograph to as close as five years.
However, it has to be noted that these dating methods aren't always 100% accurate, since a Victorian photographer may have been using up old card stock, or the cabinet card may have been a re-print made many years after the photo was originally recorded.
Subsequent innovations made photography easier and more versatile.
New materials reduced the required camera exposure time from minutes to seconds, and eventually to a small fraction of a second; new photographic media were more economical, sensitive or convenient, including roll films for casual use by amateurs.