ART AND CULTURE.

Unbelievable but true: these historical figures were actually photographed

To make the first photograph, the exposure time needed was as much as 8 hours for a single shot. Thirteen years later, only 10 minutes of exposure time was needed to achieve a much better effect. Throughout the 1800s, the technique of capturing images using imprinted light became increasingly popular and technological, eventually replacing portraits.

Imagine how many historical figures we know only through inaccurate and dated portraits. Yet, some characters that we think of as too far back in time have actually been captured by photography.

Today we want to bring you a series of photos depicting some historical figures you never thought could be captured by this technique. Among them. even, someone born in the 1700s.

Wikipedia.org
Unbelievable but true: these historical figures were actually photographed
To make the first photograph, the exposure time needed was as much as 8 hours for a single shot. Thirteen years later, only 10 minutes of exposure time was needed to achieve a much better effect. Throughout the 1800s, the technique of capturing images using imprinted light became increasingly popular and technological, eventually replacing portraits. Imagine how many historical figures we know only through inaccurate and dated portraits. Yet, some characters that we think of as too far back in time have actually been captured by photography. Today we want to bring you a series of photos depicting some historical figures you never thought could be captured by this technique. Among them, even, someone born in the 1700s.
Di unattributed - National Media Museum, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php
Charles Dickens in about 1860
Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870) is one of the best-known and best-selling writers of all time, both because of his humorous novels and his examinations of Victorian society. Dying precisely in 1870, we really have a hard time imagining the people he photographed back then. Yet, here he is, the father of "David Copperfield".
Nasjonalbiblioteket from Norway
Edvard Munch around 1889
It is not uncommon to see photographs of the famous painter in old age. More rare, to see him still in his prime, in this photograph that is supposed to date around 1889. His most famous painting is "The Scream."
Di Julia Margaret Cameron - Sconosciuta, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php
Charles Darwin in the last years of his life
He is one of the most well-known, influential and important scientists in all of human history, the father of natural selection and Darwinism. In this photo (thought to have been taken in 1869) he is seen already visibly age-worn after a lifetime of travel and research.
By File:Calamity Jane by CE Finn, c1880s-crop.jpg: imprint of C.E. Finn, Livingston, Mont.derivative
Calamity Jane in about 1880
Martha Jane Canary-Burke (1850-1903) went down in history for being a relevant figure in the days of the "wild west" and especially for being the first female gunfighter in history. Cabinet photograph with caption on the negative, "Calamity Jane, Gen. Crook's Scout". An early image of Calamity Jane wearing buckskins, carrying a Colt Single Action Army revolver with ivory grip tucked into the hand holster and holding a rifle Sharps.
Di Southworth & Hawes - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikime
John Quincy Adams circa 1843, daguerreotype of Philip Haas
Sixth president of the United States of America, we chose him for a reason: it is incredible that a man born in the 1700s was photographed with such clarity. It may be, moreover, the first photograph portraying a head of state, albeit no longer in office.
Di Sconosciuto - [1], Pubblico dominio, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33993658
Grigórij Efímovič Raspútin
Rasputin is one of the most controversial figures in all of history, not only in Tsarist Russia. A personal advisor to the Romanovs, today he is considered synonymous with power, debauchery and lust, but in his time he was frowned upon by the population. Notorious for attempts to assassinate him, he also lived in the period when photography was beginning to be used more assiduously. Had you ever seen the menacing face of this Russian mystic?
Di Pach Bros. - Questa image è disponibile presso la Divisione Stampe e Fotografie (Prints and Phot
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. around 1904
26th president of the United States of America, his is one of the four faces carved on Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota. He was also awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906.
Di John Jabez Edwin Mayall - Istituto internazionale di storia sociale, Pubblico dominio, https://co
Karl Marx in 1875, photograph by John Jabez Edwin Mayall
Famous but not so famous, this photograph captures the father of Marxism, Karl Marx, who in 1848 published The Manifesto of the Communist Party, a short text destined to change history and studied even today by students around the world.
By Napoleon Sarony - postcard (radiographics.rsna.org), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org
Nikola Tesla around 1890
The Serbian-American inventor was one of the most important scientists in history, the father of the Second Industrial Revolution through his studies on alternating current and wireless communications. He died in the mid-20th century, so his image is not that rare, but we wanted to include it because of the importance of the character.
By Unknown author - http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wamc/files/styles/medium/public/201604/Sa
Samuel Wilson around 1850
We conclude with a real treat. Samuel Wilson, known as Uncle Sam, the famous character the United States used to recruit volunteers for the War of 1812. Born in 1766, he worked as a meat packer. On his name tags, his image stood above the words U.S. (United States, but many played with the words until they got Uncle Sam). From here on, the 'joke' spread all over the world. Incredible to see him photographed.
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