The first photograph taken in history was shot in 1826

The first photograph taken in history was shot in 1826. Photography has since been used for many purposes from portraits to capturing the elements of war. Alexander Gardner was one of the first war photographers. The photography taken by Alexander Gardner revealed the reality of war to the public eye, which lead to the understanding of soldiers’ mental health and improvements in the historical use of photographs.
Alexander Gardner was born on October 17th, 1821 in Paisley, Scotland (“Biography: Alexander Gardner,” 2017, para.1). In 1850, Alexander traveled with his brother to the United States of America. Alexander and his brother established a cooperative community in Iowa. Gardner had to return to Scotland to raise money. In Scotland, Gardner bought the Glasgow Sentinel, and it later became the second largest newspaper in the city. He eventually returned back to America in 1851 (“Biography: Alexander Gardner,” 2017, para.2). Gardner left his brother and settled in New York in 1856 (“Biography: Alexander Gardner,” 2017, para.4) While in New York Gardner visited the Great Exhibition where he saw Mathew Brady’s work. The pictures inspired Gardner to experiment with photography himself (“Biography: Alexander Gardner,” 2017, para.3).
As the American Civil War was approaching Gardner found work under Mathew Brady. Gardner specialized in Imperial photographs, but began taking over more of the work as Brady’s eyesight started to fail. By 1858 Gardner had become in charge of the work at the gallery (“Biography: Alexander Gardner,” 2017, para.4). Not only was Gardner known for his scenic war photography, but he also became one of the top portrait photographers (“Biography: Alexander Gardner,” 2017, para.5). Alongside his work at the gallery Alexander was given the rank of Honorary Captain by General George McClellan in November, 1861. This title allowed him to follow the Union army and take exclusive photographs (“Biography: Alexander Gardner,” 2017, para.7). Shortly after, Gardner left Brady and started his own studio. Gardner wanted credit for his work and some of Brady’s other photographers followed (Nardo, 2009, p.82). The Civil War ended in 1865, but the photos Alexander Gardner took would last for generations.