This story forms a background to the magnificent work he created between 1858 and 1890 that is shown in this book:Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs
Among the gaps in Watkins' biography are the years between 1850 and 1855. During this half-decade he spent at least ten thousand hours hours practicing photography. His training and talent catapulted him to world-class status. Stand by as research for the "lost years" develops.