The adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” has been proven true since humans began recording events and stories on the walls of caves.

Later, as we perfected recording events with writing and printing, capturing images mechanically remained elusive. Paintings, drawings, and prints could capture images of people and places, but all required artistic talent and usually training to be successful.

The advent of photography in the 19th century made it possible for images to be captured in a reliable and repeatable manner. Technological innovations further democratized the ability to capture memories and commit them to a visual and enduring medium.

In Frederick County, photographers employed the latest technologies to record images of people, landscapes, everyday experiences, and momentous historical events. Between 1840 and 1920, over thirty photographers are known to have worked in Frederick County.