Picture this: Amazing early photography


Neatorama had a ginormous post yesterday about the origins of photography. We've pulled some of our favorite facts (that's the world's first photomontage, above), but trust us, the whole article is a great read!

  • In 1760, long before photography was invented, author Charles-François Tiphaigne de la Roche wrote a story about "a race of secret supermen in an imaginary wonderland who could fix a reflected image onto a canvas coated with a sticky substance."
  • The French government bought Louis Daguerre's patent for the daguerrotype in 1839, presenting it as "a gift free to the world." Alas, the "free" and "the world" parts weren't exactly accurate: Daguerre had already obtained corresponding patents abroad.
  • The same year, Sir John Frederick William Herschel coined the word "photography." He would also go on to coin "snapshot," as well as "negative" and "positive" as they apply to photos. Scientific acumen ran in the Herschel family; his dad, Sir Frederick William Herschel, discovered the planet (last we checked) Uranus.
  • The photo below, which Edward Steichen took in Long Island in 1904, recently sold at auction for $2.9 million, making it the world's most expensive photograph.
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