Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Right to the Source

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Right to the Source

Article excerpt

Exploring Science and History With the Library of Congress

Photography Hits the Road

Many of today's cameras are small enough to fit in your pocket, making them easy to take along wherever you go. But mobile photography dates back farther than you may think. Cameras first hit the road in the middle of the 19th century.

The earliest photographs were made with delicate equipment requiring long exposures best taken inside a studio. By the 1850s, however, breakthroughs in camera design and photo development allowed photographers--using specially equipped mobile darkrooms--to travel far and wide to find compelling subjects. This new mobility brought events to the viewing public from distant, sometimes dangerous, places. Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, for example, photographed the battlefields of the U.S. Civil War, documenting death and destruction.

Meanwhile, new printing processes lowered costs and allowed new formats to proliferate. Shown below is a stereograph--two slightly offset images that create a 3-D effect when viewed through a stereoscope. …

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