This is a slightly modified reprint of a blog I published on the late unlamented Multiply.Com on January 21, 2011.
If you don’t look hard, you can easily miss it. Near the bottom left corner of the above photograph is the first photographic image of a human being ever taken. The place is the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. The year is 1838. And the photographer is none other than Louis Daguerre, after whom the daguerreotype was named.
The only reason you don’t see other people in the street is that the exposure was for ten minutes, and anyone or thing in motion appeared only as a blur if at all. The reason the gentleman above was standing still for ten minutes was that he was getting his shoes shined.
No one knows the man’s name or anything about him. He just wandered into history, got his shoes shined, and went on his way.
Referenced in this article: For more info and a closer view of our mystery subject, click here.