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  1. #11
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Matthew Brady was one of the most famous Civil War photographers.

    My great great grandfather fought at Gettysburg. I have his rifle, powder horn, bullet mould, record from the War Dept. regarding is wound, and the ticket he used to the 20th anniversary of the battle held at Gettysburg. I also have the newspaper that notes his enlistment along with his brother. We have photos of him from that era that still survive.

    He was firing his rifle so fast that when he put in the ramrod, the powder ignited and blew the ramrod out, through his hand and he lost a finger. He fought for days with that untreated wound. The War Dept said that since he could continue fighting for several days that way, it was not considered a debilitating wound.

    We had some amazing stories and photos from that era, many now lost, some still preserved. Among the lost are his dental tools (he was the company dentist as a side duty even though he was a carpenter by trade - the army was still the army back then. Round pegs in square holes.)

    I still have most of his carpentry tools and those of his son, my grandfather, though.

    Just a bit of nostalgic muttering. Sorry.

    PE

  2. #12
    Greg Heath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Matthew Brady was one of the most famous Civil War photographers.

    My great great grandfather fought at Gettysburg. I have his rifle, powder horn, bullet mould, record from the War Dept. regarding is wound, and the ticket he used to the 20th anniversary of the battle held at Gettysburg. I also have the newspaper that notes his enlistment along with his brother. We have photos of him from that era that still survive.

    He was firing his rifle so fast that when he put in the ramrod, the powder ignited and blew the ramrod out, through his hand and he lost a finger. He fought for days with that untreated wound. The War Dept said that since he could continue fighting for several days that way, it was not considered a debilitating wound.

    We had some amazing stories and photos from that era, many now lost, some still preserved. Among the lost are his dental tools (he was the company dentist as a side duty even though he was a carpenter by trade - the army was still the army back then. Round pegs in square holes.)

    I still have most of his carpentry tools and those of his son, my grandfather, though.

    Just a bit of nostalgic muttering. Sorry.

    PE
    Muttering is good...

    I enjoyed your family history. Very interesting. It reminded me of my Cousin when we were kids in Atlanta. Their family had a Civil War rifle handed down through the generations. On the gunstock were carvings of people's names and dates. It was neat seeing that and well as imagining another time and place. Whenever I see a rifle like that it takes me back to those happy times of my childhood.

    Greg

  3. #13
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    While the size of many of the prints were smaller than 4x5, in essence they were still "large" format, if one was to use camera type as the main criteria and the second criteria being individual negatives (as opposed to rolls which did not exist at the time.). I believe many of the small images were made in rather large cameras that had multiple lenses...and that the film was also large with multiple images on each that were then cut down after processing.

    Vaughn
    While yes they did shoot multple images on a larger plate I think they were mainly glass negatives that were then printed on a large sheets of albumen paper. The paper was then cut to size. To cut the glass negative after making the image you are risking tearing and damaging the collodion emulsion. I have seen 1/4 plate and 1/6th plate cameras and it is easy to go smaller buy using an insert in the plate holder. The tintype was probably the most common used in the field as it was the cheapest. But again using a multiplying camera then trying to cut the tin without damaging the tender collodion would seem to present a problem. Multiplying cameras came with anywhere from 2 lenses to 32 lenses. They were a great money maker as they could print 32 images on albumen. Now you could knock out quit a few prints of Lincoln to sell in no time. But to make a tintype or ambrotype I would think they shot single plates. I know how fragile the collodion is on a single plate and how easy it will lift on glass unless you albumenize the edges. I can't imagine trying to cut a sheet into 32 different plates. But then again the high quality of work I've seen from that era nothing would surprise me. I actually got to hold a couple of Gardner's glass negatives of Lincoln when I was at the Archives. They were whole plate negatives.

  4. #14
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Matthew Brady was one of the most famous Civil War photographers.



    PE
    According to one photography book that I read (sorry, don't recall which one) Matthew Brady actually took few, if any, of the Civil War photographs attributed to him. He supposedly owned a studio and hired other photographers to take the photographs in the field, which were sold by Brady in his studio. I think that since the photographers worked for Brady, the photographs were owned by him and bore his name.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  5. #15
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Brady had a number of wagons that were mobile darkrooms for making and processing plates.

    He had a lot of people working for him, just as Ansel Adams had many many assistants and associates. Al Weber, who teaches an excellent workshop with David Vestal at the Photograper's Formulary is on such associate. He speaks fondly of his associaton with Ansel Adams. I had a chance to sit with him looking out at the Mission Mountains on our last visit there which coincided as my wife took photos of us and our own Jan Pieterzak (sorry for the spelling Jan) unloaded their van.

    So, yes, this practice is common, but they all hearken back to their mentor. Brady was a mentor of these people and did travel with them.

    We do not use this apprentice or mentoring system much anymore.

    PE
    Last edited by Photo Engineer; 02-22-2009 at 04:01 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added a footnote there....

  6. #16
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Dan, That is very true. Brady was going blind and couldn't see very well toward the end of the war. But he had a whole company of photographers working for him. They were so many that they were actually called The Brady Corps. But the name that went on the photographs was Brady's. I think the exception was Alexander Gardner who ran Brady's Washington D.C studio.

  7. #17
    RobertP's Avatar
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    PE. The mobile darkrooms were called " Whatsit Wagons"

  8. #18
    RobertP's Avatar
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    The beginnings of a modern day "Whatsit Wagon" for wet plate. http://www.apug.org/forums/attachmen...1&d=1235336844
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0262.jpg   IMG_0263.jpg  

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertP View Post
    PE. The mobile darkrooms were called " Whatsit Wagons"
    Although I never heard that name, my friend Mark used to travel through Pennsylvania with such a wagon doing period photos and putting on a "Medicine Show" for Lenape Elixir.

    He still does period photos, teaches workshops, and teaches at George Eastman House.

    PE

  10. #20
    RobertP's Avatar
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    PE. I speak with Mr. Osterman quite often. He is probably one of, if not the foremost authority on wet plate in the country/world. As a matter of fact I will be visiting Mark and France in a couple of months if we can get our schedules to jive. I've heard about the medicine show. I'll try to talk him into giving me a demo.

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