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 founding father laid the groundwork for the nation's modern economy, including the banking system and Wall Street.
The life of the legendary photographer, known best for his black and white images of the wilderness of the American West.
Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of America's least understood presidents. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
A nostalgic and humorous look at how old world Chicago lives side by side with the new.
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.
In 1897, Arctic explorer Robert Peary caused a sensation when he returned from Greenland with five Eskimos.
Robert Noyce's invention of the microchip launched the world into the Information Age.