Circa 1865. "Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley, albumen silver print. Carleton Watkins (1829 - 1916), an early photographer of Yosemite, captured this pristine view of Mirror Lake while most of the country was engaged in the Civil War. One of the best landscape photographers of the 19th century, Watkins used the cumbersome, demanding technology of his era, which required large glass wet plate negatives, and produced some of the most stunning images of this extraordinary wilderness. His views are credited with inducing members of Congress to pass legislation in 1864 that required California to protect the area from development. Abraham Lincoln, reported to have been very taken with the beauty of the images, signed the bill. Later efforts by landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted and naturalist John Muir resulted in Yosemite being proclaimed a national park in 1890."
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