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Photography had a tremendous impact on American society over the course of the Civil War and beyond. Yet, it was not a new technology. By the time of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Photography had a tremendous impact on American society over the course of the Civil War and beyond. Yet, it was not a new technology. By the time of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Photography had a tremendous impact on American society over the course of the Civil War and beyond. Yet, it was not a new technology. By the time of the American Civil War photography had been through several evolution. President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan, Antietam MD; Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

2 The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill John Trumbull, 1786; Yale University Gallery Prior to the development of photography, Americans observed war through the medium of paintings and lithographs. Civil War Preservation Trust

3 Unburied Confederate Soldier Antietam, Sept. 1862, Photography by Alexander Gardner; Library of Congress With photography, Americans witnessed the reality of war for the first time. Civil War Preservation Trust

4 The daguerreotype was the first functional photography and became popular in the United States shortly after its invention by Louis Daguerre. The collodion process, also known as the wet plate process, was developed in 1851 and was extremely important because it allowed the duplication of images. With the development of the wet plate process, several other forms of photography came about, including ambrotypes and tintypes. Stereo view images could be created as daguerreotypes, but their real popularity was stimulated by the reproductive abilities of the wet plate process. Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, Inventor of the Daguerreotype Library of Congress Photography got its start in the early nineteenth century. Civil War Preservation Trust

5 Daguerreotype United States Capitol Washington D.C., 1846 Library of Congress The Daguerreotype was invented in 1839 by Frenchman Louis Daguerre and was the first practical form of photography.It created an image on silver- plated copper and required about 15 minutes of exposure time. The image was one-of-a-kind, which meant that no reproductions could be made. Although less expensive to have made than a portrait, daguerreotypes were not affordable for all Americans. Civil War Preservation Trust

6 Daguerreotypes were stored in a case like this one because they were very thin and delicate. Occupational Portrait of Unidentified Woman, Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

7 The earliest known portraits of Abraham and Mary Lincoln were daguerreotypes taken in 1846 or Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

8 Winfield Scott, c1849; Photograph by Mathew Brady, Library of Congress The world’s first known photographs of war were daguerreotypes taken of the Mexican- American War in late 1846 or early Civil War Preservation Trust

9 An unknown cameraman from Texas photographed scenes of camp life at Saltillo Mexico during the war. Unfortunately, because they were daguerreotypes, those images were not reproducible. Therefore, they were not viewed by the general public until the mid twentieth century. This lithograph, printed in 1847, is an example of how the war was depicted to the public. Sarony, Mexico, c1847 The Mexican Army evacuating Vera Cruz and surrendering their arms to the U.S. Army under General Winfield Scott. Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

10 There were further developments in photography in 1851 with the invention of the collodion process, also known as wet-plate photography. Collodion is a chemical mixture used to coat a plate of glass or iron, sensitizing it to light. Once coated with collodion, the plate could then be used to create an image. The wet plate process remained the most advanced photographic technology until after the Civil War and was used by Civil War photographers. Click here to view demonstration Click here to view demonstration Developing plate glass image; Courtesy of Garry Adelman, Center for Civil War Photography Civil War Preservation Trust

11 The most significant aspect of the invention of the collodion processes was the fact that it could produce a negative image capable of reproduction. Now images could be copied and sold nationwide. 22nd New York State Militia, Harpers Ferry, Va., 1861; Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

12 Ambrotypes were pictures taken on glass using the collodion process. They became popular in the mid 1850s because they were cheaper and more convenient to produce than daguerreotypes. The glass of the ambrotype was also less easily damaged than the thin copper plate of the daguerreotype and its exposure time was between two and 12 seconds. Ambrotype of African American black soldier; Library of Congress Ambrotype Civil War Preservation Trust

13 The first images of war to be viewed by the public were taken in 1855 during the Crimean War by Roger Fenton and James Robertson. Men of the 68th Regiment; Photograph by Roger Fenton; Library of Congress Colonel Brownrigg C.B. and two Russian boys, Alma & Inkermann; Photograph by Roger Fenton; Library of Congress The town of Balaklava; Photograph by Roger Fenton; Library of Congress

14 Mortar Battery outside Sebastopol Photography by Roger Fenton; Library of Congress Mortar batteries in front of the picket house of the Light Division at the Siege of Sebastopol; Photograph by Roger Fenton; Library of Congress Because they were created using the newly developed collodion process, Robertson’s images were reprinted. Copies were brought back to the United States by a military commission sent to observe the Crimean War, which included future Union General George B. McClellan. The images were the first to be used as a direct source of military intelligence, including such things as the analysis of gun placements. Artillery wagons, view looking toward Balaclava; Photography by Roger Fenton; Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

15 Ruben Farwell (right) and an unidentified man; Library of Congress Tintypes used the same collodion process but were made on iron plates, making them very durable and inexpensive. Most Civil War soldiers had their pictures taken on tintypes because they typically cost less than 25 cents and their durability made them easy to transport. TintypeTintype Civil War Preservation Trust

16 Yorktown, Va. Confederate fortifications; Library of Congress Stereo photographs are a kind of ambrotype. Today, one might identify them as a 3-D image. To create a stereo view image a twin-lens camera was used to capture the same image from two separate lenses, in much the same way that two human eyes capture the same image from slightly different angles on the head. The images were developed using the same wet-plate process, but stereoscopic photography produced two of the same image on one plate glass, like the one above. Most battlefield and camp pictures were taken in this format. Twin lens camera; Courtesy of Garry Adelman, Center for Civil War Photography STEREOSTEREO Civil War Preservation Trust

17 Physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone discovered stereoscopic vision in 1838 and invented a stereoscope with which to view 3D images. Combining this idea with the collodion process, which allowed for the reproduction of images, negatives could be used to produce stereo cards, seen here with the stereoscope viewer. This technology was reproducible and by 1854 had become very popular nationwide. Stereoscope with stereo view card, © Peter Stubbs. Sir Charles Wheatstone, Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

18 While most Americans were familiar with photographs before the outbreak of war, there were no photos that depicted a battlefield immediately following a battle. Felice Beato was the first to take pictures of dead soldiers in 1860 during the Second Opium War between Anglo-French forces and the Chinese. Although they were the first, like the Saltillo images, they remained obscure until the late twentieth century. Partial view of the ruins of a Chinese fort shortly after it was captured China August 21, Art IconoArt Icono.http//:phomul.canalblog.com/archives Civil War Preservation Trust

19 Considered a watershed moment in history, images taken during the American Civil War were the first to be distributed to a large public audience and many graphically depicted dead soldiers following battle. Unlike the Crimean War, for which there were only two photographers, dozens of photographers and assistants followed each army during the Civil War, and several of these professionals, including Mathew Brady, attempted to completely document the war in images, beginning a new genre of documentation: photojournalism. Mathew Brady took over 10,000 photographs of the Civil War including the First Battle of Manassas, during which he was lost behind enemy lines; Library of Congress Alexander Gardner began as Brady’s assistant, but went on to take the first pictures of the Gettysburg battlefield for his own studio; Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

20 The wet-plate photographic process was very challenging in a photography studio, but completing the procedure while working out of a horse-drawn, portable studio was even more difficult. Each professional photographer typically had one to three assistants who aided in the creation of an image, which included the production of collodion from scratch using raw materials such as ethyl ether, sulfuric acid, and silver nitrate. Photographer's wagon and tent Cold Harbor, VA Library of Congress Wagons and Camera Equipment of Southern Photographer Sam Cooley; Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

21 Advancements in photography proved to be immensely important. The ability to the reproduce images allowed for distribution to a wide audience, bringing the horrors of war to the home front. These realistic images of war, brought directly into American households for the first time, forever altered society’s view of war. Deceased Confederate Soldier Petersburg April 3, 1865; Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

22 Perhaps the best example of this can be found in a New York Times article from October 20, 1862, one month after the battle of Antietam. An unknown author addresses society’s experience with war both before and after the introduction of photographs. “The living that throng Broadway care little perhaps for the Dead at Antietam, but we fancy they would jostle less carelessly down the great thoroughfare, saunter less at their ease, were a few dripping bodies, fresh from the field, laid along the pavement….As it is, the dead of the battle-field come up to us very rarely, even in dreams. We see the list in the morning paper at breakfast, but dismiss its recollection with the coffee….There is nothing very terrible to us, however, in the list, though our sensations might be different if the newspaper carrier left the names on the battle-field and the bodies at our doors instead…. Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our door-yards and along the streets, he has done something very like it.” (italics added) This image of dead confederate soldiers was taken in September 1862 and appeared in Brady’s New York exhibit Dead at Antietam; Library of Congress

23 Like photographers, Civil War artists traveled with the army, documenting images of war. While both of these images depict sharpshooters, the realism of the photograph is accentuated when placed next to the sketch. Done by artist Alfred Waud, the sketch represents the format through which Americans were used to viewing images of war. The sketch is entitled Sharpshooters 18th Corps and was published in Harper’s Weekly. The photograph, taken by Alexander Gardner at Gettysburg, is entitled The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter and has come to be one of the most recognizable photographs of the Civil War. Dead Confederate sharpshooter at foot of Little Round Top Gettysburg July 1863; Library of Congress Sharpshooters, 18 th Corp, Alfred Waud August 6, 1864; Library of Congress Civil War Preservation Trust

24 Because of these advancements in photography, the Civil War became a true watershed in the history of photography. While pictures were taken of other wars, the iconic photos of the American Civil War would directly affect how war was viewed from the home front, and inspire future combat photographers who would take their cameras to the trenches of Flanders… Confederate dead at Corinth, Mississippi, 1862; Library of Congress the black sands of Iwo Jima... the steaming jungles of Vietnam… and the mountains of Afghanistan… Helicopter drops soldiers, Vietnam 1959; U.S. Army www. army.mil/images A French assault on German positions. Champagne, France, 1917; National Archives Marines land on Iwo Jima, 1945; Library of Congress Kunar Province, Afghanistan; U.S. Army


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