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Civil War photographs

Long shutter-speeds were required to take photographs during the Civil War which meant photographers often required subjects to pose for shots or they captured distant subjects that made any subject blurring less noticeable. Exposures could be as long as 10-30 seconds.

The U.S. Civil War gunboat Cairo is shown in this undated photo. The Union gunboat was sunk on Dec. 12, 1862 while clearing Confederate batteries and obstructions on the Yazoo River, north of Vicksburg, Miss. The Cairo was sunk by explosive charges from detonated electrical mines. (AP Photo)

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