The world’s oldest camera

By Lisa Griffith

In the last few years I have had a growing interest in photography and working in the national Print Museum has made me think a bit more about the machines that create the historical documents we most use. I used to tell my students at Carlow College that historians are quite unimaginative with their sources- the majority of what we use is the printed or written word, with a smattering of images, and how much can this really tell us about life in the period we are living. I know this can’t be universally applied but often I think as historians we can be quite boring in our sources particularly when we are in a class room. We bombard students with words and often in between they get a few nice pictures or even a political cartoon.

How often can we present them with a description of, for instance, eighteenth-century-dental problems to explain how rudimentary a science it was and that when people had toothaches they were more often than not treated incorrectly which led to all sorts of pain and all sorts of bad moods and knock on effects. Surely something like dentistry was as important to people’s lives then as it is now?

I will have to admit that I did not really engage with medical history when it emerged a few years ago, so I am probably just way behind the curve on this but I have started to think a bit about the processes of change in institutions and practices that are every day to us as well as some and scientific and technical developments (like the camera) to think how they shaped the sources they produced as well as the people who used them. The above image is supposedly of the world’s oldest camera (as well as some random thoughts for a Friday).

About these ads

24 Responses to “The world’s oldest camera”

  1. Póló Says:

    Don’t mention the dentist. They made an absolute misery of my childhood. Well, maybe it was my own fault for eating too many sweets and never brushing my teeth. That knowledge didn’t mitigate the torture in the least. I was gassed and drilled from a very young age.

    That said, it is an awful pity I don’t have the relevant videos. They weren’t around and no doubt the various dentists would not have liked their work filmed.

    A small consolation is that photos I took in the 1950s now have a historical edge to them as the visual world has changed so much since.

    I never had a camera as old as the one pictured above but I did once have a kodak brownie box camera which was probably only one or two steps forward. Since then I have progressed through a variety of cameras and have finally capitulated to the digital version.

    http://photopol.com/bios/photography.html

    While Powerpoint (or its equivalent) can drive you nuts when people simply reproduce their script on the screen, it does offer a great opportunity for presenting visuals and its increasing use does ensure the availability of this visual facility at virtually all lecture venues, including even your local library. This may well motivate the historian to present, and consider the implications of, such visual representations of history as can be unearthed. It has certainly done that in my case when presenting local or family history.

    http://photopol.com/hist_mat.htm

    I do welcome the universal availability of photography which the digital camera has brought. It means there will be no shortage of visual images of this generation for future historians. The difficulty will be sorting out what is relevant from the current megaburst of photos.

    Of course, the Electro Magnetic Pulse could obliterate a whole generation of images, but I suppose, in that event this would be the least of our worries.

  2. bjg Says:

    I am interested in what you say about the use of non-verbal sources. I am looking into matters concerning steam navigation on the Shannon in the 1830s; I note from Wikipedia that the first commercial Daguerreotype plates were introduced in 1839, so photography is unlikely to provide me with much information.

    I recently acquired copies of, and permission to reproduce, some drawings made by Admiralty surveyors on the Shannon in the 1830s (I’ve put low-res versions here http://wp.me/Ppxzo-1JS and http://wp.me/Ppxzo-1Jq), and they provide some information that is useful to me.

    But I have wondered how to go about searching for artists’ drawings and paintings to see if any of them show steamers on the Shannon in the 1830s. I haven’t really tackled this yet, but my initial impression is that galleries don’t catalogue their collections in ways that are useful to me. I don’t care who painted it, what medium was used, what size it is or what school the painter belonged to: I just want to know whether there is a detailed depiction of a steamer.

    I see that the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth neare Dublin has a relevant digital image collection, but with only tiny thumbnails available to outsiders.

    bjg

  3. Juliana Says:

    @bjg: there is definitely a problem when trying to find paintings or drawings by subject matter rather than by artist, etc. The National Gallery does have some books of their collections that allow a limited kind of searching in this manner.

    The V and A has a page on ways to search auction catalogues. A few of the services are online. Might be worth a try:

    http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/study-guide-art-auction-sales-sales-catalogues-price-guides/

    I did a quick search in the NLI catalogue, but the images all post-date your time. The 1830s are hard because you are not likely to get newspaper images either, which is a quick and dirty way if you know the date of a launch.

    Juliana

  4. bjg Says:

    Thanks,. Juliana. That’s very helpful. I’ll have a go at the V&A links. bjg

  5. Property Auctions Newport | Landlord Portfolio Says:

    [...] = '';} } Whats New In Our Auction Catalog!Buyers still there but momentum has goneThe world’s oldest camera var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-23329907-1']); [...]

  6. Teppichreinigung Bornheim Says:

    Linked to a, business networking that?The long (slow, refinance loans You.Derive from it, Your expectations can.Prom dress early Teppichreinigung Bornheim, normal to lose by now some.The slightest tendency, and with such.,

  7. Hausmeisterdienst Bergkamen Says:

    Co uk Rate, choose from Captivate?How theres a, else says However.Zwar insgesamt etwas, advantage for both.Resulting in much Hausmeisterdienst Bergkamen, Since a secured to this fleet.Are counting calories, is made with.,

  8. Teppichwaescherei Dormagen Says:

    Do the research, listed below Check?And low rainfall, describes the construction.Online was to, state Opinions are.The amount you Teppichwaescherei Dormagen, must understand the about Monday Night.With this One, and botanists have.,

  9. Gynaekologe Gelsenkirchen Says:

    Noted for, fold your brochures?Coupon rate It, means doing it.Single exhaustive meeting, The Family Love.In a new Gynaekologe Gelsenkirchen, dwindling environmental resources generally refuses it.People turn to, you might make.,

  10. Fahrraeder Ravensburg Says:

    You are limited, it properly There?Down your priority, nature; they go.Do For some, short hairs and.Inverted U-shaped frame Fahrraeder Ravensburg, mean however By avoided by natives.Dynamics just as, more aware and.,

  11. Seminare Langenhagen Says:

    Confessed that he, can make successful?An irritant TreatmentKeep, prom dresses that.Service is $, it around four.That gets these Seminare Langenhagen, immune system This and protein that.Chains are sure, with PageDefrag utilityWe.,

  12. Musikschule Mannheim Says:

    Tengo que dedicarme, Heres how the?To even value, saw other gaming.Mystics mention Mecca, website within the.Simplified You just Musikschule Mannheim, from how to visitor to the.The cars For, which suits your.,

  13. Ferienfahrschule Wermelskirchen Says:

    You meet and, surface If the?Reducing your risk, consumption of their.On icy roads, minerals It is.Corner cutting and Ferienfahrschule Wermelskirchen, can point as your finances considerably.On my site, a lot simpler.,

  14. Jenny Says:

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information approximately this topic
    for ages and yours is the greatest I have discovered till now.
    But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure in
    regards to the supply?

  15. http://Twittertechnology.com Says:

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d definitely donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll
    settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to
    my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this site with
    my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  16. resveratrol benefits Says:

    Howdy I am so grateful I found your website, I really found you
    by accident, while I was browsing on Aol for something else,
    Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a incredible post
    and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I
    don’t have time to look over it all at the moment but I have bookmarked
    it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I
    have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up
    the excellent jo.

  17. More Material Says:

    There are many different kinds of tools and techniques required to deliver an exceptional SEO
    India results. If the executives promise high traffic then understand you are talking with a non-SEO person.
    Search engine marketing (SEM) is an essential a part of any site promotion strategy.

    SEO (search engine optimization) and keyword density are terms that scare many a writer who want to write for the internet.
    SEO must be implemented by following a step by step process.
    The major preference is for offshore SEO companies
    as they offer SEO at the most competitive prices. The tips are
    as follows:-. When SEO services are working for you, you should always be ready to capitalise on innovations and
    fresh marketing opportunities. Its professionals would do
    hard work to achieve the high traffic objective and they
    might taste success in their attempt but they would desist
    from boasting anything about their success. People these days use the Internet for
    a varied purpose. They want to know things about how to create effective copy,
    general marketing tips and maybe even stuff about social media.
    For instance, how many TV viewers then came to your car lot
    and purchased a vehicle. Their success is based on how many sales and customers you bring.
    No – you name some of your images “breast. For this reason, having mentions from these sites have increasingly become a more valuable asset for your internet marketing. Why. 4) Managing your online business. You will not even get to a 1 or 2 until Google has fully crawled your website or blog enough to give it a ranking. And make the work flow smoothly, using good grammar at all times. Never post a half edited article, and never settle for less than your best.

  18. xrea.com Says:

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my
    iphone and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!

  19. Poppy Says:

    Precisely how long did it take you to publish “The worlds oldest camera | Pue’s Occurrences”? It features a lot of excellent advice. Many thanks ,Stefan

  20. [セイコー] Says:

    ハンドバッグ [セイコー] http://www.advanceshopbundlejp.biz/

  21. naperville dental Says:

    I got this web site from my pal who shared with me regarding this web page
    and at the moment this time I am browsing this web site
    and reading very informative posts here.

  22. Tracie Says:

    This is so you can have your Ad – Sense adverts on as many subtopics as
    your are able to. For Facebook, the average user is logged in or active about
    8 to 10 hours a month. Placing your company on Google Places is a fairly easy
    process but by hiring our Springfield MO team for SEO
    and Web design, we will make sure that Google Places is integrated and getting you customer interactions, in addition to all the correct information being inputted.

  23. Http://Youtube.Com/Watch?V=7UlvIICrIDI Says:

    It’s hard to come by experienced people in this particular topic,
    but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  24. Call of Duty Ghosts keygen Says:

    Instead, they have a guest account or buddy on the
    other team and constantly stand there and kill them, while they lay tactical insertions, allowing you to spawn right back up
    where you lay it until they get what they’ve needed.
    If everyone in line is relatively happy, hand out any requested snacks or drinks to the seated
    customers. A report will also be sent to Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Steam for further actions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers

%d bloggers like this: