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 life of the president who saw himself as the heroic defender of the "shining city on a hill." Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
The world famous escape artist could escape from everything - except his own mortality.
In 1936, GM and Ford could not stop one of the worst battles of the American labor movement.
A biography of the 41st U.S. president, from his service in World War II to his days in the Oval Office. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
A saga of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy.
A central figure in the narrative of how the west was won, Wyatt Earp and his story became an American legend. Part of the Wild West collection.
Before he became the first U.S. president, service to the colonies would profoundly change George Washington.
P.T. Barnum -- huckster, con man, promoter, entertainer and founder of "The Greatest Show on Earth".