In 1839, a year after the first photo containing a human being was made, photography pioneerRobert Cornelius made the first ever portrait of a human being.
On a sunny day in October, Robert
Cornelius set up his camera in the back of his father’s gas lamp-importing business on Chestnut Street in Center City, Philadelphia. After removing the lens cap, he sprinted into the frame, where he sat for more than a minute before covering up the lens. The picture he produced that day was the first photographic self-portrait. It is also widely considered the first successful photographic portrait of a human being. The words written on the back of the self-portrait, in Cornelius’ own hand, said it all: “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”
The photo is now a part of the Library of Congress’ Daguerreotype collection.
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