What year is this? #1

This is Robert Cornelius, aged 30, standing in the autumn sun outside his father’s family store on 8th street, Philadelphia. This is one of the first pictures he took - its a self portrait.

Answer (highlight to read):

175 years old.

On the back of the image is the inscription “The first ever light picture, 1839″. It is the earliest known self-portrait. Cornelius opened a photographic studio, but closed it after a few years, focusing on his father’s business.

Cornelius died in 1893, aged 84. The original picture is in the collection of the American Philosophical Society

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4 comments to What year is this? #1

  • Photoshop

    Around a 100 years?

  • Tina

    wow..170 years old!(if considered taken in 1839)

  • Pete Knight

    Is this absolutely definitely true? I’m surprised to see so much light definition in the hair, cheeks and clothes etc, on a picture that would have used such a primitive technique.

  • Alan Ford

    It didn’t take long at all for early pioneers to get the hang of things. There is a startling museum of early photography at Fox Talbot’s Home: Lacock Abbey.


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