Photography has influenced society since its inception in the 11th century. The oldest photographs depict fascinating details about life before pictures were common. From historical war photos to amazing images of space, the earliest surviving pictures known to humans have a profound and engaging aura.
The very first camera was invented by an Iraqi scientist in the 11th century. Called the “camera obscura,” the device only projected images onto other surfaces, and upside down at that. However, in the early 19th century, photography as we know it was born. French photographer Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a portable version of the 11th-century device “to expose a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light.” This became the first incarnation of permanent photography.
The images in this list are some of the oldest photographs, and most of them are the first of their kind.
These images capture the development of permanent photography throughout the course of the 19th century!
Many of history’s most famous photos are burned into our brains whether we realize it or not — even if we don’t know the stories behind them.
Take “Tank Man,” the iconic image of a man standing in the middle of the road as an entire row of tanks heads toward him. We understand the power of this image even if we know little of its circumstances. The whole article is about powerful photos that show us the very best that humanity is capable of as well as the very worst, and everything in between.
Check out these incredible photos that shocked our world!
Did you know the first “unofficial” tree ever to take its place in the Rockefeller Center was erected by workers just after the Center’s construction in 1931? Right in the midst of the Great Depression, the construction workers were so grateful for their jobs that, as a token of their appreciation, they spontaneously put up a twenty-foot balsam fir and decorated it with tin cans, cranberries, and paper garlands.
The Battle of the Somme lasted from 1 July 1916 to 18 November the same year. Following 18 months of trench deadlock in World War I, the battle was a joint operation between British and French forces hoping to achieve a final victory over the Germans on the Western Front.
A bombardment of over 1.5 million shells was fired at German lines in the seven days preceding the battle, with the aim of destroying enemy trench defences.
However, the Germans suffered less damage than expected from this tactic. This allowed German machine-gunners to confront the advancing British line, resulting in the deaths of 19,240 British soldiers on the first day. In the weeks that followed, there were over a million casualties from both sides. Here are some of the pictures from the conflict, followed by some of the most arresting images from World War I.
The wounded are dressed in a trench during the Courcelette operation of the Battle of the Somme, France, on 15 September 1916.
The thirties were a strange decade. The Great Depression had a huge impact on the global economy. However, even when the situation of most people was miserable and most countries were on the verge of another World War, some came up with interesting activities to cheer everybody up, but to be honest, I’m not that sure they succeeded.
Anyways, this was the time of beauty pageants, but not as we know them today.
Miss Lovely Eyes, as you can imagine, was a contest to see who had the most beautiful eyes. However, in their efforts to be trustworthy and righteous, they thought the best way to objectively judge that was by concealing the rest of the face, so the judges wouldn’t be biased by the participants’ features. As a result, you have images like this one, with women wearing extremely disturbing masks. The success of this pageant was such that they were even thinking about focusing on other features of the face, like the ears or nose.