Q: Did people buy photographs in those days? How did people decorate their homes?
Well, today we take photography for granted. It's everywhere. It's in newspapers, magazines, television, etc. But in the 19th century, visual access to imagery was much more limited than it is today. And photography really opened up visual access to many things for people, that didn't exist before. And also the fact that there is a reality quotient, if you will, to photography. It's not like a drawing or a painting. You have more the sensation that you're actually seeing the site. As television enables you today to see at great distances, other countries and other events of importance and beautiful sites that you could never travel to, photographs served very much the community in the same way. And people traveled the world through photography, particularly with the introduction of stereo-photography. That was a sort of home entertainment or edu-tainment system. Through stereo photographs, one could build a library of views of Egypt or Italy or the Holy Land, or as well the great sites of your own country. And we really have lost our sensitivity to that. But in the 19th century, people were very well aware of the great amount of information that photography made possible to people, that never quite existed before.
Photography transcends the bounds of time and space. It enables you to see at great distances things that you could never see, to know things that you could never know, to see events that have passed and no longer exist.