1857: Photos of the World From the Year The Atlantic Launched

160 years ago, the world was in a state of transition. The Industrial Revolution had laid the groundwork for an upcoming rapid modernization; steamships and telegraph lines were making the world a smaller place; the United States was struggling with the issue of slavery and trying to avoid a civil war; and a relatively new invention was becoming an indispensable tool for artists, documentarians, and journalists: the camera. By 1857, dozens of photographers were traveling the world, capturing scenes they either hoped to sell, or were commissioned to photograph. On this day, the 160th anniversary of the founding of our illustrious magazine, The Atlantic, I invite you to pause for a few minutes and let yourself be transported back to the year 1857 with this photo tour. ( A note: Many dates are approximate; precise sourcing is difficult to find from that era.)

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