ABOUT Alive With History

Alive With History is dedicated to providing the finest in historical performance. The characters are carefully selected as individuals whose stories are interesting, entertaining, and want to be told. At present, there are two sterling individuals that you can meet.

Meet Alexander Gardner

Alexander Gardner is a pivotal figure in the history of photography. Learning photography in Scotland, he immigrated to the United States where he initially worked with Mathew Brady. By the end of the Civil War, Gardner was one of the preeminent photographers of the time. The first photos of real battlefields, many of the Lincoln photos, the documentation of the West after the War, and the publishing of the first photographic history of the American Civil War place him as integral to the times. Through Alive With History, Alexander is willing to talk about a variety of subjects, engage in discussions on the ethics involved in photojournalism, and even provide lessons in stereo photography.

Learn more about Alexander Gardner
Alexander Gardner

Meet Franklin Hogan

Corporal Franklin Hogan was a long time resident of Hutchinson, Kansas, and is buried there in East Side Cemetery. Cpl Hogan was being performed during a "Talking Tombstones" entertainment in honor of his receipt of the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. He has since been invited into Alive With History to tell his story of boredom, endurance, fear, and heroism.

Learn more about Corporal Franklin Hogan
Franklin Hogan


Alive With History is the product of Doug McGovern. He is a photographer, teacher, engineer and historical performer. After retiring from a career in engineering management in 1997, Doug has been able to develop his love of the past initially working on stereo photography. He became interested in stereo vision while developing remotely driven vehicles as an engineer. Stereo television installed in the robotic vehicle allowed the driver to proceed safely around ditches and holes. When Doug had the opportunity to follow the footsteps of his Great Great Grandfather through action in the Civil War (Samuel Cowan, 17th Illinois Volunteer Infantry), he realized that stereo photography, when applied to battlefield scenes, let the viewer "see" the terrain as real. Roads, hills, and trenches stand out. Also, stereo photos of people and action scenes provide a realism that grabs the viewer in a way that regular photos cannot. This inspired Doug to start a company called "Vintage Visuals" to produce and distribute stereo pictures. Of course, the history of these pictures needed to be researched. To understand the times, the techniques, and the talents, Alexander Gardner became a worthy tutor. It was but a short step to then become Alex through developing a historical performance.

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Doug currently lives in a National Register Historic House in Hutchinson, Kansas. He is active in other historical activities including working with local preservation efforts, membership in the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, reenacting with the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry (as a civilian photographer), and membership in a Victorian Dance performance group.

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ABOUT Vintage Visuals


Vintage Visuals captures, processes, prints, and distributes Holmes style stereographic photographs using modern technology. Stereo photography was born at the same time as the first "sun images" were recorded in the 1830's. Today there are dozens of different types of cameras. There are the complicated and expensive cameras that photo journalists carry, high quality digital single lens reflex cameras for personal use, point and shoot cameras, and cameras that are built into our cell phones. None of these, however, can, by themselves, create the amazing stereoscopic views that were recorded at the birth of photography.

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Visit Vintage Visuals to learn more about stereo photography and see the products that are inspired by the work of Alexander Gardner.

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For other historic individuals: Kansas Alliance of Professional Historic Performers
For Stereo Photography: Vintage Visuals
For Doug's home company: RMTCI