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Mathew Brady

Mathew Brady

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Encyclopedia
Note: Mathew B. Brady's name contains a single "t". For persons named Matthew Brady, see Matthew Brady (disambiguation)
Matthew Brady (disambiguation)
Matthew Brady was an Australian bushranger.Matthew Brady may also refer to:* Matthew Brady , San Francisco district attorney...

.


Mathew B. Brady (ca. 1822 – January 15, 1896) was one of the most celebrated 19th century American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 photographers, best known for his portraits of celebrities and his documentation of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He is credited with being the father of photojournalism
Photojournalism
Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism...

.

Early years


Brady was born in Warren County, New York
Warren County, New York
Warren County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. It is part of the Glens Falls, New York, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 65,707. It is named in honor of General Joseph Warren, an American Revolutionary War hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill...

, the youngest of three children of Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 immigrant parents, Andrew and Julia Brady. At age 16 he moved to Saratoga, New York
Saratoga, New York
Saratoga is a town in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 5,141 at the 2000 census. It is also the commonly used, but not official, name for the neighboring and much more populous city, Saratoga Springs. The major village in the town of Saratoga is Schuylerville which is...

, where he met famed portrait painter William Page
William Page
William Page was an American painter and portrait artist.-Life and work:...

. Brady became Page's student. In 1839 the two traveled to Albany, New York
Albany, New York
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about south of its confluence with the Mohawk River...

, and then to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, where Brady continued to study painting with Page, and also with Page's former teacher, Samuel F. B. Morse. Morse had met Louis Jacques Daguerre
Louis Daguerre
Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre was a French artist and physicist, recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography.- Biography :...

 in France in 1839, and returned to the US to enthusiastically push the new daguerrotype invention of capturing images. He soon became the center of the New York artistic colony who wished to study photography. He opened a studio and offered classes; Brady was one of the first students.
In 1844 Brady opened his own photography studio in New York, and by 1845 he began to exhibit his portraits of famous Americans. He opened a studio in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 in 1849, where he met Juliet (whom everybody called 'Julia') Handy, whom he married in 1851. Brady's early images were daguerreotype
Daguerreotype
The daguerreotype was the first commercially successful photographic process. The image is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate....

s, and he won many awards for his work; in the 1850s ambrotype
Ambrotype
right|thumb|Many ambrotypes were made by unknown photographers, such as this American example of a small girl holding a flower, circa 1860. Because of their fragility ambrotypes were held in folding cases much like those used for [[daguerreotype]]s...

 photography became popular, which gave way to the albumen print
Albumen print
The albumen print, also called albumen silver print, was invented in 1850 by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and was the first commercially exploitable method of producing a photographic print on a paper base from a negative...

, a paper photograph produced from large glass negatives most commonly used in the American Civil War photography. In 1850 Brady produced The Gallery of Illustrious Americans, a portrait collection of prominent contemporary figures. The album, which featured noteworthy images including the elderly Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 at the Hermitage, was not financially rewarding but invited increased attention to Brady’s work and artistry. In 1859, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

ian photographer André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri was a French photographer who started his photographic career as a daguerreotypist but gained greater fame for patenting his version of the carte de visite, a small photographic image which was mounted on a card...

 popularized the carte de visite
Carte de visite
The carte de visite was a type of small photograph which was patented in Paris, France by photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854, although first used by Louis Dodero...

and these small pictures (the size of a visiting card) rapidly became a popular novelty as thousands of these images were created and sold in the United States and Europe.

In 1856 Brady created the first modern advertisement when he placed an ad in the New York Herald
New York Herald
The New York Herald was a large distribution newspaper based in New York City that existed between May 6, 1835, and 1924.-History:The first issue of the paper was published by James Gordon Bennett, Sr., on May 6, 1835. By 1845 it was the most popular and profitable daily newspaper in the UnitedStates...

 paper offering to produce "photographs, ambrotypes and daguerreotypes." His ads were the first whose typeface
Typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....

 and font
Font
In typography, a font is traditionally defined as a quantity of sorts composing a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface...

s were distinct from the text of the publication and from that of other advertisements.

Civil War documentation



At first, the effect of the Civil War on Brady's business was a brisk increase in sales of cartes de visite to transient soldiers. However, he was soon taken with the idea of documenting the war itself. He first applied for permission to travel to the battle sites to an old friend, General Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

, and eventually he made his application to President Lincoln himself. Lincoln granted permission in 1861 with the proviso that Brady finance the project himself.
His efforts to document the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 on a grand scale by bringing his photographic studio right onto the battlefields earned Brady his place in history. Despite the obvious dangers, financial risk, and discouragement of his friends, Brady is later quoted as saying "I had to go. A spirit in my feet said 'Go,' and I went." His first popular photographs of the conflict were at the First Battle of Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas , was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, near the City of Manassas...

, in which he got so close to the action that he barely avoided capture.
He employed Alexander Gardner
Alexander Gardner (photographer)
Alexander Gardner was a Scottish photographer who moved to the United States in 1856 where he developed his profession. He is best known for his photographs of the American Civil War, American President Abraham Lincoln, and the execution of the conspirators to Lincoln's...

, James Gardner
James Gardner
James or Jim Gardner is the name of:* James Gardner , musician and composer* James Gardner , American journalist and news anchor* James A...

 , Timothy H. O'Sullivan
Timothy H. O'Sullivan
Timothy H. O'Sullivan was a photographer widely known for his work related to the American Civil War and the Western United States.O'Sullivan was born in New York City. As a teenager, he was employed by Mathew Brady...

, William Pywell
William Pywell
William Redish Pywell was a 19th Century American photographer. He first worked for Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner making a photographic record of the American Civil War, this work was published by Gardner in 1866 as "Photographic Sketch Book of the War" Vols. 1 & 2....

, George N. Barnard, Thomas C. Roche
Thomas C. Roche
Thomas C. Roche was a photographer known for his photographs of the American Civil War.Roche's first job as a professional photographer was for Henry T. Anthony, a chemist in New York, and his brother Edward, for whom he took photographs of the city and the harbor starting in 1859...

, and seventeen other men, each of whom was given a traveling darkroom
Darkroom
A darkroom is a room that can be made completely dark to allow the processing of light sensitive photographic materials, including photographic film and photographic paper. Darkrooms have been created and used since the inception of photography in the early 19th century...

, to go out and photograph scenes from the Civil War. Brady generally stayed in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, organizing his assistants and rarely visited battlefields personally. This may have been due, at least in part, to the fact that Brady's eyesight had begun to deteriorate in the 1850s.

In October 1862 Brady opened an exhibition of photographs from the Battle of Antietam
Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam , fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000...

 in his New York gallery titled "The Dead of Antietam." Many images in this presentation were graphic photographs of corpses, a presentation new to America. This was the first time that many Americans saw the realities of war in photographs as distinct from previous "artists' impressions".

Following the conflict a war-weary public lost interest in seeing photos of the war, and Brady’s popularity and practice declined drastically.

Later years and death



During the war, Brady spent over $100,000 to create over 10,000 plates. He expected the U.S. government to buy the photographs when the war ended, but when the government refused to do so he was forced to sell his New York City studio and go into bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

. Congress granted Brady $25,000 in 1875, but he remained deeply in debt. Depressed by his financial situation, loss of eyesight and devastated by the death of his wife in 1887, he became very lonely. He died penniless in the charity ward of Presbyterian Hospital in New York City on January 15, 1896, from complications following a streetcar accident.

Brady's funeral was financed by veterans of the 7th New York Infantry
7th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment
The 7th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It is also known as the Steuben Guard or the Steuben Regiment.-Service:...

. He was buried in Congressional Cemetery
Congressional Cemetery
The Congressional Cemetery is a historic cemetery located at 1801 E Street, SE, in Washington, D.C., on the west bank of the Anacostia River. It is the final resting place of thousands of individuals who helped form the nation and the city of Washington in the early 19th century. Many members of...

 in Washington, D.C.

Levin Corbin Handy
Levin Corbin Handy
Levin Corbin Handy was an American photographer who worked during the 19th and early 20th century.Civil War photographer Mathew Brady was Handy's uncle by marriage, and Handy was apprenticed to him at age twelve. After a few years of working in Brady's studio, he was a skilled camera operator...

, Brady's nephew by marriage, took over Brady's photography business after his death.

Legacy and people photographed




Brady photographed 18 of the 19 American Presidents from John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

 to William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

. The exception was the 9th President, William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States , an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when elected, the oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the...

, who died in office three years before Brady started his Photographic Collection.

The thousands of photographs which Mathew Brady took have become the most important visual documentation of the Civil War, and have helped historians better understand the era.

Brady photographed and made portraits of many senior Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 officers in the war, including Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, Nathaniel Banks, Don Carlos Buell
Don Carlos Buell
Don Carlos Buell was a career United States Army officer who fought in the Seminole War, the Mexican-American War, and the American Civil War. Buell led Union armies in two great Civil War battles—Shiloh and Perryville. The nation was angry at his failure to defeat the outnumbered...

, Ambrose Burnside
Ambrose Burnside
Ambrose Everett Burnside was an American soldier, railroad executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician from Rhode Island, serving as governor and a U.S. Senator...

, Benjamin Butler
Benjamin Franklin Butler (politician)
Benjamin Franklin Butler was an American lawyer and politician who represented Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and later served as the 33rd Governor of Massachusetts....

, Joshua Chamberlain
Joshua Chamberlain
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain , born as Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain, was an American college professor from the State of Maine, who volunteered during the American Civil War to join the Union Army...

, George Custer, David Farragut
David Farragut
David Glasgow Farragut was a flag officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and admiral in the United States Navy. He is remembered in popular culture for his order at the Battle of Mobile Bay, usually paraphrased: "Damn the...

, John Gibbon
John Gibbon
John Gibbon was a career United States Army officer who fought in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars.-Early life:...

, Winfield Hancock, Samuel P. Heintzelman
Samuel P. Heintzelman
Samuel Peter Heintzelman was a United States Army General. He served in the Seminole War, the Mexican-American War, the Yuma War, the Cortina Troubles, and the American Civil War, rising to the command of a corps....

, Joseph Hooker
Joseph Hooker
Joseph Hooker was a career United States Army officer, achieving the rank of major general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Although he served throughout the war, usually with distinction, Hooker is best remembered for his stunning defeat by Confederate General Robert E...

, Oliver Howard, David Hunter
David Hunter
David Hunter was a Union general in the American Civil War. He achieved fame by his unauthorized 1862 order emancipating slaves in three Southern states and as the president of the military commission trying the conspirators involved with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.-Early...

, John A. Logan
John A. Logan
John Alexander Logan was an American soldier and political leader. He served in the Mexican-American War and was a general in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He served the state of Illinois as a state senator, congressman and senator and was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President...

, Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell
Irvin McDowell was a career American army officer. He is best known for his defeat in the First Battle of Bull Run, the first large-scale battle of the American Civil War.-Early life:...

, George McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

, James McPherson
James B. McPherson
James Birdseye McPherson was a career United States Army officer who served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War...

, George Meade
George Meade
George Gordon Meade was a career United States Army officer and civil engineer involved in coastal construction, including several lighthouses. He fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and Mexican-American War. During the American Civil War he served as a Union general, rising from...

, Montgomery C. Meigs
Montgomery C. Meigs
Montgomery Cunningham Meigs was a career United States Army officer, civil engineer, construction engineer for a number of facilities in Washington, D.C., and Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army during and after the American Civil War....

, David Dixon Porter
David Dixon Porter
David Dixon Porter was a member of one of the most distinguished families in the history of the United States Navy. Promoted as the second man to the rank of admiral, after his adoptive brother David G...

, William Rosecrans
William Rosecrans
William Starke Rosecrans was an inventor, coal-oil company executive, diplomat, politician, and United States Army officer. He gained fame for his role as a Union general during the American Civil War...

, John Schofield
John Schofield
John McAllister Schofield was an American soldier who held major commands during the American Civil War. He later served as U.S. Secretary of War and Commanding General of the United States Army.-Early life:...

, William Sherman, Daniel Sickles
Daniel Sickles
Daniel Edgar Sickles was a colorful and controversial American politician, Union general in the American Civil War, and diplomat....

, Henry Warner Slocum
Henry Warner Slocum
Henry Warner Slocum , was a Union general during the American Civil War and later served in the United States House of Representatives from New York. During the war, he was one of the youngest major generals in the Army and fought numerous major battles in the Eastern Theater and in Georgia and the...

, George Stoneman
George Stoneman
George Stoneman, Jr. was a career United States Army officer, a Union cavalry general in the American Civil War, and the 15th Governor of California between 1883 and 1887.-Early life:...

, Edwin V. Sumner, George Thomas
George Henry Thomas
George Henry Thomas was a career United States Army officer and a Union General during the American Civil War, one of the principal commanders in the Western Theater....

, Emory Upton
Emory Upton
Emory Upton was a United States Army General and military strategist, prominent for his role in leading infantry to attack entrenched positions successfully at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House during the American Civil War, but he also excelled at artillery and cavalry assignments...

, James Wadsworth
James S. Wadsworth
James Samuel Wadsworth was a philanthropist, politician, and a Union general in the American Civil War. He was killed in battle during the Battle of the Wilderness of 1864.-Early years:...

, and Lew Wallace
Lew Wallace
Lewis "Lew" Wallace was an American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War, territorial governor and statesman, politician and author...

.

On the Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 side, Brady photographed Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

, P. G. T. Beauregard
P. G. T. Beauregard
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Louisiana-born American military officer, politician, inventor, writer, civil servant, and the first prominent general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Today he is commonly referred to as P. G. T. Beauregard, but he rarely used...

, Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson
ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

, James Longstreet
James Longstreet
James Longstreet was one of the foremost Confederate generals of the American Civil War and the principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his "Old War Horse." He served under Lee as a corps commander for many of the famous battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia in the...

, Lord Lyons
Richard Lyons, 1st Viscount Lyons
Richard Bickerton Pemell Lyons, 1st Viscount Lyons, GCB, GCMG, PC, DCL was an eminent British diplomat.-Biography:...

, James Henry Hammond
James Henry Hammond
James Henry Hammond was a politician from South Carolina. He served as a United States Representative from 1835 to 1836, the 60th Governor of South Carolina from 1842 to 1844, and United States Senator from 1857 to 1860...

, and Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 (Lee's first session with Brady was in 1845 as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, his final after the war in Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

).
Brady photographed Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 on many occasions. His Lincoln photographs have been used for the $5 dollar bill
United States five-dollar bill
The United States five-dollar bill or fiver is a denomination of United States currency. The $5 bill currently features U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's portrait on the front and the Lincoln Memorial on the back. All $5 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes...

 and the Lincoln penny. One of his Lincoln photos was used by the National Bank Note Company as a model for the engraving on the 90c Lincoln Postage issue of 1869.

Brady can be considered a pioneer in the orchestration of a "corporate credit line." In this practice, every image produced in his gallery was labeled “Photo by Brady;” however, Brady dealt directly with only the most distinguished subjects and most portrait sessions were carried out by others.

As perhaps the best-known US photographer in the 19th century, it was Brady's name that came to be attached to the era's heavy specialized end tables which were factory-made specifically for use by portrait photographers. Such a "Brady stand" of the mid-19th century typically had a weighty cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

 base for stability, plus an adjustable-height single-column pipe leg for dual use as either a portrait model's armrest or (when fully extended and fitted with a brace attachment rather than the usual tabletop) as a neckrest. The latter was often needed to keep models steady during the longer exposure times of early photography. While Brady stand is a convenient term for these trade-specific articles of studio equipment, there is no proven connection between Brady himself and the Brady stand's invention circa 1855.
Brady produced over seven thousand pictures (mostly two negatives of each). One set "after undergoing extraordinary vicissitudes," came into U.S. government possession. His own negatives passed in the 1870s to E. & H.T. Anthony, of New York, in default of payment for photographic supplies. They "were kicked about from pillar to post" for ten years, until John C. Taylor
John C. Taylor
John Clarence Taylor, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for South Carolina's 3rd congressional district. He served for three terms from 1933 to 1939.-Biography:...

 found them in an attic and bought them; from this they became "the backbone of the Ordway-Rand collection; and in 1895 Brady himself had no idea of what had become of them. Many were broken, lost, or destroyed by fire. After passing to various other owners, they were discovered and appreciated by Edward Bailey Eaton," who set in motion "events that led to their importance as the nucleus of a collection of Civil War photos published in 1912 as The Photographic History of the Civil War.

Some of the lost images are mentioned in the last episode of Ken Burns
Ken Burns
Kenneth Lauren "Ken" Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs...

' 1990 documentary on the Civil War. Burns claims that glass plate negatives were often sold to gardeners, not for their images, but for the glass itself to be used in greenhouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

s and cold frame
Cold frame
In agriculture and gardening, a cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure, built low to the ground, used to protect plants from cold weather. The transparent top admits sunlight and prevents heat escape via convection that would otherwise occur, particularly at night...

s. In the years that followed the end of the war , the sun slowly burned away their filmy images and they were lost.

Civil War photos



Mathew Brady took thousands of photos of American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 scenes. Much of what is known today about the Civil War comes from these photos. There are thousands of photos in the National Archives
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

 taken by Brady and his associates, Alexander Gardner, George Barnard, and Timothy O'Sullivan. The photographs include Lincoln, Grant, and common soldiers in camps and battlefields. The images provide a pictorial cross reference of American Civil War history. Brady was not able to photograph actual battle scenes as the photographic equipment in those days was still in the infancy of its development and required that a subject be still in order for a clear photo to be produced.

External links


  • MathewBrady.com
  • Mathew Brady biography at American Memory
    American Memory
    American Memory is an Internet-based archive for public domain image resources, as well as audio, video, and archived Web content. It is published by the Library of Congress...

     of the Library of Congress
    Library of Congress
    The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

    • Selected Civil War photographs by Brady and his contemporaries at American Memory
      American Memory
      American Memory is an Internet-based archive for public domain image resources, as well as audio, video, and archived Web content. It is published by the Library of Congress...

  • Mathew Brady Photographs More than 6,000 photographs available in the Archival Research Catalog of the National Archives and Records Administration
    National Archives and Records Administration
    The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

  • Mathew Brady's World – biography, timeline and analysis of Brady's work at the Smithsonian Institution
    Smithsonian Institution
    The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

    • Mathew Brady's portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
      National Portrait Gallery (United States)
      The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in Washington, D.C., administered by the Smithsonian Institution. Its collections focus on images of famous individual Americans.-Building:...

  • Mathew Brady's Civil War Landscapes – slideshow by Life magazine