Tags: oldest | photograph | human | france

Oldest Photograph of Human, From 1838, Shows Man Getting Shoes Shined

By    |   Friday, 07 Nov 2014 03:08 PM

The oldest photograph of a human being, taken in 1838 by Francis Daguerre, shows a man getting his shoes shined on a deserted street in Paris, France.

Although the photograph has been online for some time, it went viral this week after Mashable worked with Retronaut, a site that bills itself as a "photographic time machine," to publish a story about the black-and-white glimpse of Europe in the 1800s.

The photograph was taken by the father of daguerrotypes — the earliest type of photographs — Francis Daguerre, Retronaut’s Amanda Uren said.

"The exposure time for the image was around seven minutes, and although the street would have been busy with traffic and pedestrians, it appears deserted," Uren wrote. "Everything moving was too fast to register on the plate. The exception is the man at the lower-left who sat still long enough to appear in the photograph. The person cleaning his boots is also visible, although not as distinctly."



Visitors to Retronaut scoured the old photograph to determine if other shapes in the photo might be people, many pointing to areas where they think another person was pictured.

"As far as I can see there are two humans. One getting his shoes polished and one doing the polishing. The rich nob is more obvious but the shoe shine boy is clear too . . . why are the workers always sidelined in these cases?" one person wrote.

Retronaut responded that the man getting his shoes shined was much clearer than the other shape, which is why he is considered the first person photographed.

Although this photo may be the first of a human, another photo claims the title of being the oldest surviving photograph. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas Austin highlighted the photo, which was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, a partner of Daguerre’s. Also taken in France, the photo was a scene on Niépce’s estate.

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The oldest photograph of a human being, taken in 1838 by Francis Daguerre, shows a man getting his shoes shined on a deserted street in Paris, France.
oldest, photograph, human, france
360
2014-08-07
Friday, 07 Nov 2014 03:08 PM
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