By 1860, glass-mounted
photos were largely supplanted by the more durable tintype, in which a photo
was chemically burnished onto sheet iron through a hazardous process involving mercury.
The tintype saw more uses and captured a wider variety of subjects than any
other photo medium of this period. In the hands of itinerate photographers
working out of covered wagons, tintypes were relatively easy to produce, making them the
primary means of visually documenting the Civil War and American life in the postwar era
below: three American tintypes taken on-location, ca.1865-70.