The oldest known photograph of a person has surfaced online.
The picture, which was taken in 1838 by Louis Daguerre, shows what looks like a deserted city. However, upon closer look, you can see a man getting his boots shined in the lower left hand corner.
The two men are the only people that are visible in the photo. However, that does not mean that there were no other people in the streets. Because of the seven minute exposure time, many of the people and objects were moving too quickly to be captured in the photograph.
This is not the first time that the photograph has been seen. The picture has been posted online before, but is gaining much more attention since the website Mashable published a full page version of the photo.
“This picture, the earliest known photograph to include a recognizable human form, was taken in Paris, France, in 1838 by Louis Daguerre,” the website captioned the photo. “The human in question is standing in the bottom-left of the photograph, on the pavement by the curve in the road. He is having his boots shined.”
— Footnoting History (@HistoryFootnote) November 7, 2014
The photo shows the Boulevard du Temple, which was a very fashionable part of Paris at the time and housed many shops, cafes, and theaters.
According to CNN, Louis Daguerre was a “French photographer famous for pioneering the daguerreotype, an early type of photo produced on a silver plate or a silver-covered copper plate.” While he is credited with the earliest photo of a human, he does not hold the record for the earliest photo ever. That honor belongs to a photo by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce of his French estate in the late 1820s.