Just 22 years after the birth of photography, enterprising photographers rushed to Civil War battlefields and produced America's first documentary images of war. Working with cumbersome wet plates, they produced grim, shocking pictures that the New York Times described as revealing "the terrible reality and earnestness of war." The American people were both drawn to the images for their apparent realism and repulsed by the horrors they depicted. Seeing Civil War photographs was so much like visiting the battlefield, wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, "that all the emotions excited by the stained and sordid scene... came back to us, and we buried them in the recesses of our cabinet as we would have buried the mutilated remains of the dead they too vividly represented."
Thousands of Civil War images, original 19th-century photographs from such renowned photographers as Timothy O'Sullivan and Alexander Gardner, lay perfectly preserved in the attic of the Medford Historical Society in Medford, Massachusetts until 1990. This gallery presents a small sample of this pristine collection.
The story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century.
During World War II, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military as WASPS.
Creating Miami Beach from a narrow spit of Florida swampland, Carl Fisher made a fortune until a devastating hurricane and the stock market crash of 1929 wiped him out.
A star in baseball's golden age, Joe DiMaggio's celebrity status and tumultuous marriage to Marilyn Monroe brought him pain.
P.T. Barnum -- huckster, con man, promoter, entertainer and founder of "The Greatest Show on Earth".
As a nation mourned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, a manhunt closed in on the twenty-six-year-old actor, John Wilkes Booth.
Quilting and the intimate clues it yields about the lives of 19th century women.
The influential musical pioneers from Appalachia whose recordings lifted spirits during the Great Depression.