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Mathew B. Brady: Civil War Photographer

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Mathew B. Brady: Civil War Photographer

Mathew B. Brady: Civil War Photographer was written by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk. Elizabeth Van Steenwyk has written many good books for young people including: Saddlebag Salesmen, The California Missions, Frederic Remington, The California Gold Rush: West with the Forty-Niners, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Woman of Courage. Elizabeth now lives in San Marino, California with her husband.

Mathew B. Brady was born somewhere between 1823 and 1824. His early life is somewhat a mystery. He was born in Warren County in New York and his parents might have been Irish immigrants. His middle name was even a mystery, when asked what the "B" stood for he said that he inserted it because it seemed "more distinguished." When he turned 16 he met William Page, a man wanting to become an artist. The both of them worked together, and Page's artistic abilities were most likely Brady's starting interest in becoming a photographer. In 1839 or 1840 Brady and Page moved to New York City. Meanwhile, a French inventor named Louis-Jacques-Mandи Daguerre was inventing something that would change Brady's life.

In 1839 Daguerre invented his camera. Samuel F. B. Morse went over to France to check out Daguerre's camera. He wrote back to a magazine saying that it was perhaps the greatest invention in this age. When Samuel Morse returned to New York City and started a school for learning how to use the camera. Brady, very interested in the camera, signed up for lessons. Several years later Brady "graduated" and started his own little photography business on Broadway. In 1844 Brady won first place in the first photographic contest in America. Winning the contest also won Brady a lot of clients. He became very popular in New York. He took pictures of twenty-five famous people and therefore published The Gallery of Illustrious Americans. He opened another studio in Washington, D.C., and he then met Julia Handy whom he married. In 1850 Queen Victoria held a contest that was open to anyone around the world. Brady left for Europe and then signed up for the contest. He went over to France so he could meet Daguerre, but unfortunately Daguerre died while Brady was on his way. Brady was very disappointed. He was glad when he found out that he won first place in Queen Victoria's contest. In 1851, Frederick Scott Archer invented the "wet-plate process", a new way to take photographs. Brady signed up for lessons to learn how to use the

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