Alexander Gardener
Photographer

 

Alexander Gardener was born in Paisley, near Glasgow, Scotland in October 1821. He was apprenticed as a jeweller in Glasgow, then moved into finance followed by journalism. By 1851 he owned the Glasgow Sentinal.

His hobbies were Science and Chemistry and he started experimenting with the new image producing art Photography. With this in mind he set forth for America in 1856 with his family, he managed to get a job with Matthew Brady, a well known photograper of his time.

Alexander Gardener took this portrait of Abraham Lincoln

 

Sunday November 8th 1863

It took over a minute for the exposure

 

 

With the start of the Civil War he took to the battlefields in a horse-drawn darkroom and a bulky camera mounted on a tripod. Using the new photographs, he brought home to Americans the horrors of the war. He was enlisted in to the Secret Service by fellow Scot, Allan Pinkerton, of Pinkerton's Detective agency, and used to help catch spies amongst the troops also photographing maps and potential battle sites for the Federal Government.

During his long career he became Lincoln's favorite photographer, documenting his life in pictures right up to his assassination in Ford's Theatre in Washington DC in 1865.

He never forgot his roots and was a proud member to the St Andrew Society