History of Photography

Introduction. History of Photography (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

A World History of Photography (by Naomi Rosenblum)

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991 (by Hans-Michael Koetzle)

Photographers' Dictionary.
(based on "20th Century Photography - Museum Ludwig Cologne")



Photographers' Dictionary

(based on "20th Century Photography-Museum Ludwig Cologne")




Timothy H. O'Sullivan

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (c. 1840 January 14, 1882) was a photographer prominent for his work on subjects in the American Civil War and the Western United States.
"The Harvest of Death": Union dead on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, photographed July 56, 1863, by Timothy O'SullivanO'Sullivan was born in New York City. As a teenager, he was employed by Mathew Brady. When the Civil War began in early 1861, he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Union Army and, over the next year, fought in Beaufort, Port Royal, Fort Walker, and Fort Pulaski.
After being honorably discharged, he rejoined Brady's team. In July 1862, O'Sullivan followed the campaign of Maj. Gen. John Pope's Northern Virginia Campaign. By joining Alexander Gardner's studio, he had his forty-four photographs published in the first Civil War photographs collection, Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War. In July 1863, he created his most famous photograph, "The Harvest of Death," depicting dead soldiers from the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1864, following Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's trail, he photographed the Siege of Petersburg before briefly heading to North Carolina to document the siege of Fort Fisher. That brought him to the Appomattox Court House, the site of Robert E. Lee's surrender in April 1865.
From 1867 to 1869, he was official photographer on the United States Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel under Clarence King. The expedition began at Virginia City, Nevada, where he photographed the mines, and worked eastward. His job was to photograph the West to attract settlers. O'Sullivan's pictures were among the first to record the prehistoric ruins, Navajo weavers, and pueblo villages of the Southwest. In contrast to the Asian and Eastern landscape fronts, the subject matter he focused on was a new concept. It involved taking pictures of nature as an untamed, un-industrialized land without the use of landscape painting conventions. O'Sullivan combined science and art, making exact records of extraordinary beauty.
In 1870 he joined a survey team in Panama to survey for a canal across the isthmus. From 1871 to 1874 he returned to the southwestern United States to join Lt. George M. Wheeler's survey west of the One Hundredth Meridian. He faced starvation on the Colorado River when some of expedition's boats capsized; few of the 300 negatives he took survived the trip back East. He spent the last years of his short life in Washington, D.C., as official photographer for the U.S. Geological Survey and the Treasury Department.
O'Sullivan died in Staten Island of tuberculosis at age 42.


Ancient Ruins in the Canyon de Chelle, New Mexico, 1873.
Albumen print-International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.


A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania , 1863


Group of Confederate Prisoners
at Fairfax Court-House, Virginia
June 1863


Fissure Vent of Steamboat Springs


Savage-Cage, Virginia City


Rocks Carved by Drifting Sand, Arizona


Miner at Work, Comstock Lode, 1867


Mojave men


General Grant and his General Staff


The Gould and Curry Mill, Virginia City, Nevada


Sand Dunes, Carson Desert


Tufa Domes, Pyramid Lake


Vermillion Creek Canyon


Black Canyon, Colorado River, from Camp 8, Looking above


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