New York native Matthew B. Brady’s portrait studio saw a few table sits for the camera during the 1850’s. He was all but unknown, however, outside a small circle of persons who had learned the photographic process perfected by Louis J. J. Daguerre of France.
Aware that his eye had been damaged, perhaps by chemicals, and that he was fast losing his vision, Brady hired a group of enthusiastic younger men and sent them to war.
They made thousands of photographs for which their employer took full credit. Today much material in the Brady Collection is identified by the name of the photographer who produced it.
Still, no other man who envisioned capturing the war on wet plates is more closely identified with 1961-1865 action than the man who personally saw very little of it.