What the first selfies ever taken almost 200 years ago looked like. Photo

Dmytro IvancheskulLife
What the first selfies ever taken almost 200 years ago looked like. Photo

The development of cell phones, with better and better cameras appearing every year, has long provoked a boom in photographing everything that is photographed. But the advent of social media has turned everything upside down again, putting the photographer's own self above the photo itself. Thus the web was flooded with millions and millions of pictures called selfies.

However, the very idea of selfies or self-portraits appeared long before the boom of cell phones, when photography was only at the dawn of its development. OBOZREVATEL tells about a photo that is considered the first selfie in the history of mankind, as well as about the one who went even further, taking the first-ever space selfie.

Not a self-portrait, but selfies

Photographic self-portraits were surprisingly common in the early days of the exploration and invention of photography. The fact is that experimental photographers were more comfortable experimenting with themselves than finding some kind of assistant. Therefore, among the historical photos of the early 19th century, you can find a large number of selfies-autoportraits.

The first such photo is believed to have been taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and enthusiastic photographer from Philadelphia (USA), named Robert Cornelius.

He took the photo by setting up his camera in the backyard of the family store. To take the self-portrait, Cornelius removed the lens cap (remember, no self-timer existed then!) and then ran into the frame, where he sat motionless while the photo was taken. He then closed the lens to capture the shot.

After Cornelius developed the photo, he wrote on the back of the photo, "First photograph taken by light. 1839".

This is what the photo looked like:

Robert Cornelius first ever selfies of 1839

It was taken by a method called daguerreotype. The photograph required a polished copper plate coated with a layer of silver. Just before taking the picture, the plate was treated with iodine vapor in the darkness and inserted into the camera. This way, a photosensitive layer of silver iodide was formed on the plate.

For the actual photograph, the camera and the plate were covered with a dark cloth, and the object was photographed under a shining light. When the lens was opened, the photograph was slowly fixed on the plate - usually taking 15 to 30 minutes. But in order to develop it, the plate had to be treated with mercury vapor.

Subsequently, the resulting photo had to be fixed on the plate with a special fixing agent - sodium thiosulfate.

As you can see, it is slow and not very safe to take selfies.

Space selfies to the envy of all

The first space selfie was taken in 1966 by astronaut Buzz Aldrin (three years before he landed on the moon) who took a photo of himself during the Gemini 12 mission. He used Extra Vehicular Activity Equipment (EVA), which is used during spacewalks and equipped with a specially designed camera, to take the picture.

Before Aldrin, astronaut Michael Collins also took space selfies during the Gemini-10 mission. However, you can't really call it a space selfie because Collins' photo was taken inside the capsule.

So Aldrin, who entered the history of mankind as the first man to set foot on the moon, can also be considered the author of the first space selfies.

Buzz Aldrin in outer space selfies

Earlier OBOZREVATEL also told about what the first-ever cell phone looked like.

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