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Alexander Gardner


1821 - 1882

Photographer, noted for his images of the American Civil War. Born in Paisley (Renfrewshire), Gardner gained an apprenticeship as a jeweller. He was a socialist and was inspired by the co-operative settlement established in New Harmony (Indiana) by Robert Dale Owen (1801-77). Gardner helped raised money to purchase land in the USA for a similar purpose. In 1851, he became owner and editor of the radical Glasgow Sentinel newspaper. He saw the photography of American Mathew Brady at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and took his family to New York in 1856, where he gained employment with Brady as a camera operator. Through Allan Pinkerton (1819-84), Gardner and Brady were able to convince Abraham Lincoln of the benefits of recording the American Civil War. The stereoscopic photographs taken by Gardiner are iconic, showing the horror of this conflict. He also recorded several images of Lincoln, his funeral and those involved in Lincoln's assassination. Gardner went on to become the photographer of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1867. He died in Washington DC.


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