Spinning Gold with Grandma
JoAnn with Old Tom
Unknowingly Making History — The First Ever “Selfie” (1839)On November 19, 2013, the Oxford Dictionaries announced their word of the year for 2013 to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”Although it’s current rampant incarnation is quite recent, the “selfie” is far from being a strictly modern phenomenon. Indeed, the photographic self-portrait is surprisingly common in the very early days of photography exploration and invention, when it was often more convenient for the experimenting photographer to act as model as well.In fact, the picture shown above is considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”
I really like his hair.
ca. 1840-60, [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman leaning dramatically across a table, with a woman sitting politely beside him]
HIS SASS JUST REACHED OUT THROUGH THE COMPUTER SCREEN AND SMACKED ME ACROSS THE FACE WHILE SNAPPING IN A Z FORMATION AND TWIRLING BACK INTO THE PAGES OF HISTORY.
It’s like he cha-cha’d real smooth into the frame.
that was the best description. yes. SHE LOOKS SO UNCOMFORTABLE LIKE SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON.
Bookmobile patrons Marie, Frances, Helen & Ida May Lippolis, 1940, with the Library’s bookmobile and in front of the family’s general store.
If I had been around in 1940 these would have been my homegirls. They look rad as hell.
This photo always cheers me up a bit. It’s a front-page article from 1955 about Christine Jorgensen, one of the first women to have sex-reassignment surgery.
Since the text is a bit small and I couldn’t find a larger copy, here’s what the small blurb says:
A World of a Difference
George W. Jorgensen, Jr., son of a Bronx carpenter, served in the Army for two years and was given honorable discharge in 1946. Now George is no more. After six operations, Jorgensen’s sex has been changed and today she is a striking woman, working as a photographer in Denmark. Parents were informed of the big change in a letter Christine (that’s her new name) sent to them recently.
This article is 58 years old, and it’s more respectful of Christine’s pronoun choices and name than some publications are today. It makes me happy to see a newspaper be respectful of a trans person’s choice of name and pronouns like that :3
"Wait for Me, Daddy," Tuesday 4 October 1940
The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles) marching down Eighth Street in New Westminster. One of the most iconic photographs ever taken in Canada, “Wait for Me, Daddy” was shot for the Vancouver Daily Province and reproduced in Life Magazine (which gave it its name) and a slew of other publications around the world. Five year-old Warren “Whitey” Bernard became a local celebrity and was recruited to tour schools around town as part of war bond drives. His father made it back alive five years later, but according to Warren, who now lives in Tofino, his mother divorced him because he was thirty-two years old and didn’t have to go off to war.
I can remember the day that grandpa came to get me to take me down to the station. And I said to my mom, ‘when dad comes home where’s he going to sleep?’ and she says, ‘I don’t know. The son of a bitch isn’t sleeping here.’
This time next year, a life-size statue will be unveiled at Columbia and Eighth Street commemorating the image, depicting Whitey, his mother, Bernice, and his father, Jack, as they appear in the photo. The bronze sculpture is in progress by Canadian husband and wife artists Edwin and Veronica Dam de Nogales at their studio in Spain.
Source: Photo by Claude Dettloff, City of Vancouver Archives #LP 109
Siri Rustebakke, center, sits in front of a house with her daughters and daughter-in-law and four spinning wheels.