Matthew Brady’s camera sold at auction for $65,725 on November 30th. Heritage Auctions of Dallas conducted the sale. Brady sold the camera when he filed for bankruptcy in April 1873 and photcopies of the insolvency papers are included in the lot. It is believed to be the camera Brady used to photograph Lincoln during his February 1860 trip to New York City. This camera was also part of the New-York Historical Society’s wonderful “Lincoln and New York” exhibit in 2009-10. I remember seeing it there with my father-in-law just before the N-YHS closed for renovation.
Also included is an original copy of the September 23, 1957 Life magazine, in which Ed Clark uses Brady’s camera–yes, the actual camera–to photograph President Eisenhower and others in period poses. Check it out starting on page 118. An added bonus in this edition of Life from the year of the Little Rock segregation episode is a look into the governor’s mansion of Arkansas’s Orville Faubus. You can’t make this stuff up.
(image courtesy Gwillhickers/Library of Congress)