Photography was in its infancy in the early 19th century. One of the best photographers of the time was Mathew Brady. Much of Brady’s early work was with daguerreotypes, for which he won many awards. Daguerreotype photography gave way to ambrotype photography, which eventually gave way to albumen print photography. Albumen print photography was a paper photograph produced from a large glass negative, which was the common process during the Civil War period.
In the early days of the Civil War, Brady earned a brisk business in the sales of cartes de visite to soldiers in transit. It was taking a portrait of a soldier for their families, advertising with the slogan, “You cannot tell how soon it may be too late.” Brady, however, had become taken with the notion of documenting the war. Many, both north and south, had seen the war to last a few weeks, may be a year at most. Brady had applied to his old friend, Gen Winfield Scott, asking permission to photograph battlefield sites. He eventually made application to President Lincoln, requesting permission to photograph the war. Lincoln gave permission, provided Brady financed the project himself. And so, Brady’s project to photograph the grand scale of war began, which cemented his place in American history and photographic history.
Many of his photographic images are considered historical treasures, particularly here in the United States. From formal portrait sittings to the aftermath of a fierce battle, Brady captured it all.
Recently, British colorist Jordan Lloyd and Danish colorist Mads Madsen began colorizing images from the Civil War period. Both have an interest in the Civil War, particularly of the many images that were taken during the war. The photos Lloyd and Madsen have colorized gives a sense of that era, ranging from heroes to villains. Unlike many other colorization projects, Lloyd and Madsen have refined their processes and methods, to give an authentic presentation with great attention to detail. In their work, you do not see unusual colors in the scene or odd-colored skin tones.
A sampling of their work:
Gen Ulysses S. Grant, Commanding General – Army of The Potomac
Confederate Gen George E. Pickett
Lewis Powell, John Wilkes Booth co-conspirator
It is a most impressive project, especially from a historical perspective.