HISTORIC FIRST PHOTOGRAPHS AND CAMERAS
This is the first photograph ever taken that shows a human being. I did not take this picture. I wasn’t born until a hundred and one years later.
1838 IMAGE: PUBLIC DOMAIN
“I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight.” LOUIS DAGUERRE, 1839
The picture, the earliest known photo to include a recognizable human form, was taken in Paris, France, in 1838 by Louis Daguerre. The human in question is standing in the bottom-left of the photograph, on the pavement by the curve in the road. He is having his boots shined. The exposure time for the image was around seven minutes and although the street would have been busy with traffic and pedestrians, everything was moving too fast to register on the plate.
However, the oldest known photograph of me was taken one hundred years later by my father. It too, had to be taken out-of-doors, because they hadn’t invented a flash attachment for the Kodak Box Camera of that era.
1940 IMAGE: FAMILY ALBUM
“That’s my boy! And he sat still for this picture.” LEO B EDLER, 1940
In case you are interested, this was the camera that took all the family pictures throughout the 30s, 40s and early 50s. Don’t you just love that deco design?
For Christmas in 1955 I was given what would become the NEW family camera. The Kodak Hawkeye Camera that finally used flashbulbs.
It took all the family photos until I finally bought my first real camera … actually made in Germany. OK, East Germany.
That was when I set up a darkroom in the basement. But that was when a camera actually used film. Since then I’ve gone through a number of different cameras. And yes, I even had a Polaroid. BRIEFLY!
My most recent photo!