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Historical Shoe Shine

Paris 1838: Do You See the Man at the Lower Left?

Paris 1838: Do You See the Man at the Lower Left?

This is one of my favorite firsts: In 1838, Louis Daguerre photographed a man getting a shoeshine on the Boulevard du Temple. Is it strange that no one else is around? Actually, the street is crowded with vehicles and pedestrians; but because they’re all in motion, the long exposure time (ten minutes) required for the first daguerrotypes didn’t pick them up. The man at the lower left getting a shoeshine, on the other hand, is standing still. Because the shoe shiner’s arms are in motion, they don’t show up in the image, making him look armless, like a fire hydrant. Neither person has ever been identified.

Below is a close-up of the man getting his shoeshine:

The Red Arrow is Pointing at the First Man Photographed

The Red Arrow is Pointing at the First Human Being Ever To Be Photographed

See PetaPixel, my source for this posting.