Sunday, April 26, 2015

First photograph taken 189 years ago

How many pictures do you have on your cellphone?

You may be old enough to remember when most people did not carry a cell-phone-with-camera in pocket or purse or within reach, 24 hours a day.

The first photographer “snapped” his first shot in 1826 in France, according to

OK, OK, “snapped” is a euphemism for what Joseph Nicéphore Niépce called “heliography.” In 1826 he stirred some chemicals around on a pewter plate, put the plate inside a 19th century device called camera obscura that was aimed out the window of “the room where I work,” exposed the plate to light for eight hours and then washed it to reveal the image you see below.

I presume you aren’t rushing to share this on Facebook. I understand.

Here’s the way the image looks after Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, with some help from the Eastman Kodak Company, did a bit of touch-up in the 1950s.

More or less, this was M. Niépce’s rooftop view from an upper story window at his country estate.

….and here’s short list of other notable stuff that happened in 1826:

The Granite Railway commenced operations in Quincy, Massachusetts, as the first chartered railroad in America.

Samuel Morey claimed the first American patent for an internal combustion engine.

John Walked invented the “friction match” in England.

.…and just confirming, there was no Super Bowl that year, and no new reality TV shows….

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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