Philadelphia, November 1839. "Robert Cornelius, self-portrait facing front, arms crossed. Inscription on backing: The first light-picture ever taken. 1839." One of the first photographs made in the United States. Taken in the yard of the Cornelius family's lamp-making business in Philadelphia, it is said to be the earliest photographic portrait of a person.
Odd to see a Civil War era photo with this kind of pose. Usually they were more formal. Caption: Gen. Edward O.C. Ord, wife and child at the residence of Jefferson Davis. In the doorway is the table on which the surrender of General Robert E. Lee was signed. Photo taken in 1865.
Way earlier but....The first portrait of Dorothy Catherine Draper was originally made in 1840 by her brother, Dr. John William Draper, as a daguerreotype. This was the earliest successful photograph of the human face. - Look how that bonnet makes even her slight slight frame tinier
A forgotten profession: In the days before alarm clocks were widely affordable, people like Mary Smith of Brenton Street were employed to rouse sleeping people in the early hours of the morning. They were commonly known as ‘knocker-ups’ or ‘knocker-uppers’. Mrs. Smith was paid sixpence a week to shoot dried peas at market workers’ windows in Limehouse Fields, London. Photograph from Philip Davies’ Lost London: 1870-1945.
King said in an interview that this photograph was taken as he tried to explain to his daughter Yolanda why she could not go to Funtown, a whites-only amusement park in Atlanta. King claims to have been tongue-tied when speaking to her. “One of the most painful experiences I have ever faced was to see her tears when I told her Funtown was closed to colored children, for I realized the first dark cloud of inferiority had floated into her little mental sky.”