Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The First Daguerreotype of Human Beings

The Boulevard du Temple in Paris in 1838

Here's how mass media started, and it's a joy to see.

Above is the Daguerreotype that was taken by Louis Daguerre in Paris in 1838, and in the inset to the left you can see two people, totally unaware of their role in history.

The Daguerreotype shows a view of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. But because the exposure time took more than 10 minutes, the moving traffic does not appear. The exceptions are the man and shoe-shine boy at the bottom left of the image (see insert), and two people sitting at a table nearby who stood still long enough to have their images captured.

While there were experiments in photography for more than a decade, these are recognized as the first human beings to have their images captures.

Below is a Google Maps grab frame of how the block looks today, as researched by a reader of the blog, The Hokumburg Goombah.

What were theses two people talking about at this moment when they were making history? What were their concerns? Probably the same issues that you and I discuss: politics, the weather, or life in general.

The Boulevard du Temple in Paris in 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You do realize that the daguerreotype original was a mirror image, so the street corner on this site cannot possibly be the same spot.