This is a detail from a daguerreotype of Cincinnati taken in 1848. NPR's Robert Krulwich has the entire picture and another one taken by the same photographers (daguerreotypist?) on his blog
. He thinks this detail shows a short man and a tall man with a bucket between them. I have lightened it up a bit and messed with the contrast a little, and I think the man on the left is standing behind the wooden beam wall (wharf? dock?) with his left leg up on the wall and his left hand resting on his knee, while the man on the right is standing on top of that wall. What do you think? You can click to enlarge.
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Hi. It's Robert Krulwich. I saw your comment on the NPR site so I came over for a look/see.
And my oh my, I think you may be right. It DOES look like the same man caught in two sequential poses. I'm not sure I see the wall you are referring to, but that could just be me. I was wondering if I could post your image over on the NPR site with credit and all. I am in Stockholm at the moment, but when I get back to the states I will write you again.
And by the way, I really like your blog.
Okay, buddy, nobody’s who regularly reads this blog (all three of us—and two of us are dogs, and one of them is semi-literate and just pretends to read) is going to believe that I didn’t write this to myself and pretend to be Robert Krulwich, so if you could send and eight by ten color glossy of yourself actually reading The Goombah to prove this is legit.
Never mind, they’d probably think I Photoshopped it. Those dogs are such skeptics.
Anyway, as much as I would like to take all the credit, there was a woman who posted something after I did who came up with the one person theory. I merely said that the “bucket” was probably the guy’s leg on the wall. If you stand next to a chair and you put your left foot on the seat of the chair and rested your left hand on your knee you'll get what I'm saying. But I too thought her theory was very interesting. But I’m not sure without knowing the time of exposure—and a whole hell of a lot more about photography than I do—whether you can say for sure if it was one person, who moved, or two people who were walking and came to a stop long enough to register at that point. Either way, I still think your “bucket” is the guys leg. Maybe this will clarify what I mean by “wall”:
Of course you may use the photo. Hell, I never asked you if I could use it in the first place. But the dogs said you probably would never find out.
I think it looks like the guy on the left is kneeling on his right knee and has his right hand resting on his right knee. But why are they both wearing bibs????
So they don't get ketchup on their nice clean shirts.
Okay, now I'll ask you one: Why do firemen wear red suspenders?
Why does Larry King wear any suspender ever made?
Could he be retiring to become a fireman?
Hey, I just read my previous remark about the photo. I meant to say, "Looks like he's kneeling on his right knee and has his LEFT hand on he LEFT knee. I wrote that before my coffee. Sorry.
Oh great! Now you've ruined everything!
Looks like 2 children fetching water to me.
The see through guy on the left looks to be kneeling on his right knee to me as well. Easier to fill the unseen bucket with water, I suppose
are they beards
These people make Juan Williams nervous.
It looks like a man on his Knee proposing.
I don't see how this could be a picture of "two fellas by the water." The detail with the wood dock around leads me to believe that a human figure would be much easier to recognize than this image produces. If it is a picture of a couple guys, people were shaped much differernt in 1848.
I agree. One person who stood in two different spots a few minutes apart and long enough to register on the plate but not as long as every other inanimate object was, hence the transparency.
My first thought was a guy proposing to his girl. But after reading MobilRasa's thought, it does kinda look like two children fetching water. And that may be the most likely of any suggested. Just a thought from Double G in the ATL.
The angle of the "standing" leg (person on left) is off...if he were really standing, it would be straighter. Looks like he's kneeling. My story is that they are two guys taking a walk after church while their wives chat it up. Killing time. Or maybe it's one guy, taking a deep breath and pausing before proposing to his girl.
I believe it is a father and son, and they are both standing the same way. The father on right has his left leg up on the "wall or barrier" with left hand on knee. While the son stands the same way just turning toward his dad.
Just looking at the picture from my perspective, I think I see a man kneeling down and maybe proposing to a woman holding her skirt. I don't think the person who is standing is a man. You never know, a river is a romantic place to propose.
Dang, would be alot easier to tell if the photographer had just used the latest Nikon digital camera!
Left person could be kneeling, but they are actually the same height and standing on a wall. The white are those ruffle button down shirts during those classic times. Perhaps they are spirits or ghosts and thus why they are more fimented than the wood dock? Maybe the first GHOST captured on film.
....a cool photo none-the-less.
or... it could be ghosts!!! teehee paranormal activity has nothing on this picture ;)
wow i have never seen a photo that old i like it wish i can see more arleen johnson([email protected]
it looks like a man proposing to a woman
seems to me the guy on the right is just plain standing there, and the guy on the left is down on his right knee, both are at the same area on wharf... and i'm not seeing a bucket at all, its just the planks between them..
How odd that you can see THROUGH them...
2 people. The shorter figure has his left leg up on something. The taller, balding figure has his left leg also up on the same object. The shin heights of the two raoised legs appear to be about the same length. Both figures have their left hands resting on their left thigh or knee.
That place is NOT romantic. no proposal.
They are looking at the river moving like we all do. Looking for fish. Old time cowboy ruffle shirts on...or fishing putting bait in their line.
BOTH men for sure.
It could be that the white "bibs" that someone mentioned are really just ruffles. I do not know whether men/boys were wearing ruffled shirts in 1848, but they were probably wearing vests and long coats.
I think the guy on the left is sitting on a chair at the end of the dock (which has a railroad tie-type barrier wall that is visible on this short dock) and that a friend has happened by to chat. People WERE shaped differently back then - much shorter and typically thinner than the susper-sized humans we've become. Watching these boats would have been something to do back then!
don't know anything about this type of photography but usually humans aren't transparent enough to see gaps in a wooden dock behind them. Plus, the "guy kneeling" pants were a lot more photogenic than the rest of his or his cohorts clothing...
I don't think they are wearing "bibs"; their shirts are showing through jackets. It could be they are servants, their dress suggests that to me. It also looks like they might be dark skinned.
And I agree with whomever said it appeared to be one person. Back then exposure took a long time to get enough light onto the photo surface. So the lens would have had to be open for a long time. So, for example if a wagon was moving down the street, you would have seen it more than once, or you would have seen it in a long line and it would appear (just as this man) that you can see through it. Ever see those images where there are tail lights streaking down a highway? That is due to a long exposure. I am convinced 100% that this is the case here.
I think it is a person walking up to the end of the plank section. First "tall" on the right was when the person started to capture the image, hence a little less dark and the contrasting white on his chest so much brighter, he is not facing square to the photographer. When he stops and possibly does raise the left leg to "pose" I mean stop and survey the waterfront, he is facing almost square to the person capturing the image. That is when the image was being burned so to speak. That is why the white is not so white and his legs are darker, he was in that spot longer with the sun coming from his right instead of walking with chest to the light as when he first approached. Remember, back in the day they had to expose for several seconds. so it would seems he was captured walking up and stopping to spit in the water. :^)
I agree with the post above.. you can see through them..
Ummmm, i think they are 2 slaves. they were pretty popular back then.
They look like children (probably boys) wearing helmets and bibs. Due to the fact that they are transparent, I would say they are ghosts. Bib and helmet wearing boy ghosts.
Which would explain why you can see "through" them.
Oh, also meant to say, that is why you can "see through them" because the "dock" is being captured exactly as it is. If the man is moving, you are going to get only a thin exposure of him in each place as he moves therefore you would be able to "see through" him.
And there are NOT 2 people. It is ONE. He is walking towards the water in the first exposure and kneeling in the second.
I have some expertise in this area, so yeah, this is exactly what is going on. I am surprised that no other photographers have suggested it.
Beans and cornbread.
The wall or barrier that some have called it would have been where barges or riverboats would tie down upon. If we could see clearer there would probably be some hooks sides. It reminds me of some docks I have seen along the Mississippi river. I think it is two different people, one standing on the ledge, the other with his leg perched up on it. Maybe they were fishing. That might explain why they are still.
i too agree to the post above
why I think it is 2 people, not one, is because I think the taller figure is balding (his forehead is shining for heaven's sake), while the shorter figure clearly has a lot of hair at the forehead.
Great, just great. Not only is this one of the earliest photos with people in it, it's morphed into the earliest edition of the Thematic Apperception Test.
Looks like two ghost to me.
I think it was a gay act of prostitution in an early version of "caught on camera".
it looks like the guy on the left is kneeling (proposing maybe) to the other person. but they have shiny helmets on..? haha idk, that's what it looks like to me anyway :]
This is a spot where I fish somewhat frequently, and I must say, this is possibly the coolest picture I've ever seen. I must say after looking at it closely, I've come to the conclusion that if it's not the same man in two different poses, that the man on the right is standing at the end of the dock/pier, and the man on the left is kneeling down on his right knee with his left hand resting on the top of his left thigh. Perhaps they're spotting for fish! This area of town used to be referred to as "the bottoms" and was kind of a slum part of town. So I'm guessing the "bibs" as referred to earlier were white button down shirts underneath the men's sport coats. Just to the right of the steam boat (out of frame) is an old brothel where mark twain lived through his teenage years above a "madame" and her girls that were there for the dock workers. Very cool photo, can't believe this made national news.
it looks kinda like a man proposing to a woman. its probably not nut it looks like it to me. :)
I think it looks like someone proposing to another person, but that's just me.
"...why they are still"??? LOL Photos don't generally move...and I agree with the above poster about it being one moving person, and yeah they look like they have on "servant's livery" and they appear to be dark skinned. Not a racist statement, simply the way it was then, and that makes perfect sense to me.
And while the sun MIGHT be shining on his head in the first part, he is MOVING and so is the sun for that matter. It is probably to his back when he kneels down because he is in a different position then.
WOW, it is so obvious and plain, I don't understand why some people just aren't getting it!
I think they are transparent ok and they are probably marsh ans!!
By golly I believe it is George Washington waiting on his pony. Nope could be the only guy that will eat Aunt Jamima; Uncle Jamima.
I think it is the earliest photograph of alien beings! Clearly these figures are not human!
It's 2 slaves ordered by their master to take the trash out!
What are "marsh ans"? Do you mean "Martians"? lol
this is a BEAUTIFUL photograph...to think that those two men had no idea that over a hundred years later people from all over the world would stop and look and remark and wonder about them...
to me it looks like the guy on the right(Is that Ben Franklin?) is reaching in his pocket for some loose change to give to the poor guy on the left with the two short wide legs. Or maybe he's going for a gun to put the poor slob out of his misery. If you zoom in enough, the guy/ghost on the left looks like he has a jack-o-lantern head. Strange
Okay- I know this is going to sound crazy... As I saw this on another site, and it gave me the link to here, so here I am..
But my question is.. as it states in the title of the article "FIRST PHOTOS OF HUMANS"? Wasn't the man taking a photo a human?
What? I am so confused.....
It was clearly the first marriage proposal.
I think the little dude has fins for feet too, so yeah I would probably give him money, or shoot him....poor guy
It looks like a midget and a one-legged man. I think the amputee is wondering wether to call it quits and jump in while the midget is wondering what kind of magician across the river is creating a flash with his magical device.
If you look very closely at the full picture on linked site, there is another person captured while walking crossing the street. He is just to the right of the building with the bank sign.
"FIRST PHOTOS OF HUMANS"? Wasn't the man taking a photo a human?"
Are you serious? Do you honestly think they mean this is the oldest record of humans???
The think it is one of the oldest PHOTOS which bears a human in it.
Good grief....Do you think there were no humans before the mid 1800's????
whats a marsh-an doing with fins for crissakes
I have to say that I agree that it is one person; the length of exposure is why it appears that there are two people. Also, on a lighter not, you can "see through" the person because he is a bad liar. :D
ROFLMAO!!!!! BAAAAD joke....tooo funny!
Oops, sorry its not the bank building with the additional person, but the building that has the sign "Painter" on top of it. Sorry about that.
I don't know much about clothing from that time period, but it looks nice...... Not something I would think a slave would wear. Also, since we are dealing with black and white photo's it might be difficult to tell what race they are from the distance involved, quality and lighting. It could be only a single person, maybe he just posed in those two particular spots long enough, that might explain why you can see through the person. I have to wonder if the camera is pointed north, because the photo was taken on the opposite side of the Ohio river. That would suggest by the shadows of the buildings in the wide photo that sun is to the west and it is late afternoon.
It's a white man(guy standing)..ready to execute a one of his slaves(guy kneeling on the left) for eating the white man's cornbread.
The guy walking across the street to the "Painter" building also has on a white shirt that looks like a bib.
They would if they were house slaves. Just sayin'
One Guy Standing and other sitting. Thats why leg is bent.
It's only one ghost, standing in two different positions, after eating a lobster and using a small pumpkin for a head. Obviously legless being a ghost. I can't figure out what the bucket is about, your guess is as good as mine. Maybe the lobster remains are in it. But then why isn't a little wooden hammer sticking out of the bucket?
dumping a chamber pot in the river
Actually, the white items about their necks were Klan Hoods, often kept at the ready in case of a needed lynching.
OK...this is just my take...I have copied the following from the orignal artical I followed a link from to get here...."Daguerre's process involved exposing a chemically treated metal plate for several minutes. If someone or something was moving within the frame, it wouldn't show up in a daguerreotype photo".....
It also stated the first person photographed was a man in paris getting his boots shined in 1838...not much movement..but some when getting boot shined..This makes me think what is in the daguerreotype photo above is 2 Fishermen standing more or less stil as as fishermen do..why are they slightly transparent? some shifting of the feet and position to cast? or reel in? or bait a hook? and probably the white spots that appear to be some kind of shirt were in reality much narrower than they appear...the white would show up better....so would show up when moved better maybe?
and do I see 2 shadows on the water in front of the figures? And what is that vague line on the left of the left figure? a pole?being bobbed?
like I said just my best guess after reading a bit about this..
the first humans ever photographed turn out to be two black guys hangin' around the hood!!! what a surprise?
This Texas gal thinks that some of you professional photographers should do a study, using the exact same technique, to mimic this photo and see if you can repeat the results in this picture. Then we can have a better idea if it is 2 persons, which possible race, what they were most likely wearing, time of the day, etc. How about it? Up to the challenge?
To me it looks like two GHOST! You can see through them to a point! They both look very bald and darker color skin, or maybe that's the clothing, boots, and long sleve shirts...
One guy, two poses. On the left he is sitting on the pile of wood. Those two dark things are not his legs. Maybe some sort of boat tie-down? If they were his legs the lighter wood in the back wood have bled through when he was in the other pose.
Mike is right, this is one person in two spots...his comment makes the most sense...'One person who stood in two different spots a few minutes apart and long enough to register on the plate but not as long as every other inanimate object was, hence the transparency.' I propose the individual started on the left side saw something in the water as he had his foot on the wall, then stood on top of the wall to get a different view (he looks as if he's looking down)
Yeah I agree there IS another man in the photo, next to the factory and just beneath the "painter" sign....and yes HIS shirt shows very white, probably from the sun shining on it.
Its 2 slaves sick of being mistreated ready to jump to their deaths.....they're leaving... on a midnight ship to georgia...
It is clearly a man proposing to a woman. How romantic :)
If you zoom all the way in on the man under the Painter sign, you can see his tall white collar.
I think the world must have been a pretty boring place before we invented color. Every thing is so drab and just different shades of gray.
It's Barack and Michelle!
Send the photo to GEORGE NOORY from the radio show COAST TO COAST AM, he'll get to the bottom of this pharanormal mistery
IT LOOKS LIKE A Marriage proposel...............
Looks like two ghost on a fishing trip?!
I know, right? I am soooo glad I live in the world now where we have colors and stuff. Can you imagine prom??? Everyone would be wearing the same color! Oh, the embarrassment!
OMG, stop it, my stmach hurts, somebody call a painter
I agree, It does look like a man proposing to a woman...!!
Well never know.
wat is a stmach? some kind of catfish that the alien ghosts are fishing for, or what?
Mmmmm, I think it's Adam & Eve awaiting their aquatic dinosaur ride to church.
Ok so I am an aspiring aerial photographer and I examined this picture as well as others taken the same way and here is my conclusion. For one these are 2 separate figures for the mere fact that they both have individual shadows. Upon looking at the size and build of the tallest "man", they seem to be around the same height thus one is standing below the other; however, they are not standing next to each other. The hill and wood behind the deck (including one special piece to the right) show that from the angle the deck goes down then back up, and because of how the rest of the deck is built (looking at the entire picture) the tallest man is standing on the edge. They both appear to be looking to our left which for me says they are watching something while maybe holding a conversation, which would suggest why the photographer had enough time to expose them. What are they looking for? I think they are waiting for the next boat to come in which to me would make the "bucket" nothing more than a rope tie dock to hold the ship in place. This is all my opinion; let me know what you think.
i think it looks like an adult on the left and a child standing up on the wall on the right
It's a proposal! look close.. his leg is not on a wall... he is down on one knee and she is looking down at him! It's so obvious!
i think the shorter one is sitting down turned a little to his left looking back to his left talking to the man standing up with one leg on a wooden rail and hand resting on that leg. maybe the are on break or the man sitting down was fishing
looks like the 2 images are superimposed on the background of the WOODEN PLANKS,you notice the edges of the planks are going through the images?....hmmmmmmm? I think the GUY is proposing to his GIRLFRIEND -cavity 666-
btw if you wish to contact me on my conclusion email me at: [email protected]
they look like aliens. what? they do!
I think its the same man. It took about a minute and a half for early cameras to actually take the picture, so it the man moved, then this could be how it turned out.
Maybe they're ghosts!
Ok I don't have time to reed all these posts but what I see is the man on the left is facing the photographer with his foot up looking out on the water. The one on the right is approching the man on the left. He appears taller because he is further back on the boardwalk. As for the bib, that's the way they dressed in the 18oo's I don't believe them to be children because of the size relationship with the boardwalk. This was a neat detour from what I was working on.
if it took a minute and a half, there should be 19 of these.....bib-wearing, shiny headed, one legged, pumpkin headed, purple people eaters
The man on the left appears to be kneeling. You can see his right calf extending towards the left side of the photo, and you can see his left leg at what appears to be a straight 90 degree angle (which would be exactly the angle it would be forming were the man kneeling). Just my 2 cents' worth.
OK...I'll bite at the original question....
To hold his pants up?
hmmm, what's a straight 90 degree angle
Anyone notice the other "person" in the photo? In front of the LATH-FACTORY, lower left, there is a log on the ground. It appears to have someone sitting on the log, facing to the right. Also, go up the street to the right of the same factory, at the end of the building shadow, it appears to be someone walking across the street, though due to the exposure time, I am not sure the movement would leave the person's image so sharp.
This is clearly the world's first recorded surveillance camera. The two billiard ball-headed gents in bibs are obviously on an early Cincinnati looting spree. Curious what's in that damn bucket...!
So many of you people are stretching the evidence so far to come up with an explanation. A scientific factual review reveals that only a very limited amount can be said about this photograph with any level of certainty. I have, in fact, done a rigorous analysis and have come up with only three things that we can say for certain about the photograph:
1) It was a bad season for pike fishing.
2) The guy on the left is George A. Winchester. He grew up on the north side of Cincinatti, and though charismatic, was a known philanderer and card cheat. He was born at an early age and got older as time when by. Today, he is mostly dead.
3) The guy on the right is actually Mark Twain. He knew George because they both hung out at the brothel up the street and, coincidentally, went to the same doctor for the treatment of their assorted venereal diseases. Twain was about to go to the brothel when this photo was taken, and is thus hale and hardy -- standing upright on the seawall. George, on the other hand, had just come from the brothel. He was thusly tuckered out as we can see by the way he uses the wall to support himself. Twain was, when this photo was taken, asking George if Madame Fifi was working today, and if she was in her usual inimitable form. George assured Mr. Twain that Fifi was indeed on the clock, and that she was in rare form indeed.
So, you see, there is really very little that can be said with certainty after examining such a photograph. Still, no one can dispute the most basic observations that I have made here today. Truly, this is the essence of science.
i was thinking and the white has to be something metalic or that could give off shine to be that bright amongst all else in the picture...
I REALLY beliee that the "leg" you guys are seeing at 90 degrees is a shadow, and the other leg is a dock tie for boats
its prob a paint bucket
They would not be getting water from the river,nor dumping stuff there by the river boat.I think they are fishing with handlines.
I say its the photographer posing in several spots,
First, why are the figures transparent? Second, it seems like two people (not sure men or children), with person on left in an obvious kneeling position, while person on the right is standing on a platform (barrier).
Also, is you look behind those two men,(in the orginal photo) straight up to that building behind them, right to the right of it, it looks like someone could be walking left to the backside of that building, coming out of the shadows.
why can't they or he/she just be there? is there some kind of law in Cincinatti prohibiting such lack of action? and btw, is that a 1948 Buick up the street?
Those "two" men are the same man, hello! He just stood still for a minute while standing, and then stayed still for a minute while kneeling!
Why can you see the logs behind them through their bodies?
Uhmmm, that's not his leg, buddy. [See MajorTom's research above.]
I also see the very distinct possibility that the images are two of the same man.
Daguerreotype photography required extremely long exposure times (several minutes even in bright daylight, as I recall - without researching the matter). That is probably why humans did not appear in most of the earliest photographs. The long exposure times dictated what we now call scenic shots. Any people moving along the streets would not have been stationary long enough to register on the plates.
Therefore, it is plausible that the two, somewhat ghosty images could be of the same person. His likeness would only show up where he stopped and stood still for a couple of minutes, allowing his image to appear on the plate. When he moved, only a very slight blurry image would register, or none at all.
So if he ambled down to the waterfront, stopped for a while behind the wall, up on a slope (or stood on the wall), then stepped down and stood motionless with one leg up on the wall, that's what we'd see - the same guy twice. It could have been the reverse as well (leg up on wall first, then he either stood on the wall or walked part way back up the slope and stopped to peer at the photographers, thinking "What the hell are they doing over there?"
Fascinating photograph for me as well because I lived near Cincinnati for several years back in the early 70s (The Big Red Machine days). Roger (aka namvet888)
I think those are darkies or manservants with the what appears to be bibs..
this is too hilarious too comment! A couple of aliens, an marriage proposal, gay men caught in the act by "Cheaters Anonymous", an Adult with a child that has an oversized head...darkies?....rotflmao....Ple-e-eze no more....I can't take too much of this!!!....ha..ha..ha...hee...heee...heee...<>>
You are all douche bags fuck that photo and fuck all of you
Okay, from a photographer... the reason they appear slightly transparent is because unless they were perfectly still for the few minutes it would have taken to expose the metal plates during a daguerreotype, they would end up a bit blurry and you can see through the parts that did not register as strongly (if you have a digital camera that allows you to set the shutter speed and aperture, set it for a shutter time of a second or two and an aperture of 22 or so; now have someone walk through the frame as it is exposing... and now you have a picture of a ghost). If you study the clothing of the period, the dress "shirts" of the time were often white pieces of material that covered the chest and part of the stomach... watch the animated movie of Peter Pan when the parents are getting ready to go out in the beginning. There is a chance that is what the white spots are on the people.
You are all still bitches
Its them Cullen boys again
a guy stopped to pee in the river
Well, if the story's from NPR, at least we're certain that neither of the men are Juan Williams.
It looks liks a man is kneelin down with the bucket in both hands tryin to get up and the other guy is just standing there helpin to get water off the dock.
Is this a double exposure? I like the idea of it being the same person, but if it were one prolonged exposure it would show the motion between the two positions. It may have been exposed twice, without moving the camera. One more thing--given the gray scale of the surroundings I suspect it is a black man.
It looks like 2 little black children. Or one black child that had been in both positions while the time lapse necessary for the photograph was made.
It looks like the guy on the left is standing in a flat bottom barge, that a lot of communities without bridges, near slow moving rivers, use to get back and forth. Then just has his leg up on the dock (or the edge of the barge facing the camera).
The reason it looks like the planks are going through the men is that it is a double exposure with the camera in the same position. There is only one man. In one exposure the wood planks and man on the left are captured. In the other exposure the man has moved to the right. That is why it looks like the planks go through the men, it is two exposures made on the same plate, and it is really two images overlaid.
It looks like a walkboard around 12ft. long, going from the dock floor and resting on top of the dockwall. The man on the left looks to be about three quarters of the way up the board with his right foot on the dock floor, his left foot on the walkboard, left hand on his knee. The man on the right, almost halfway up the board with his right foot on the dock floor and left foot on the walkboard with left hand on left knee also.
idiots!! the man is kneeling before a woman! he's asking her to marry him..
It's only one person, and that can be explained by the length of exposure.
You can do this taking a picture of yourself. Set your camera to a 5 or 10 second exposure and change your position halfway through the exposure. There will be two of you, and each figure will have the transparency that you see in the figures pictured here.
I think it's really Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa chatting by the river after being beamed back in time from a galaxy far, far away.
it looks like a man kneeling down on one knee proposing! :D
I think it looks, not like two men, but a boy kneeling (perhaps fishing) and a young girl watching.
Looks like two children + a dog...
Why DO Firemen wear suspenders?
The dandy neckwear is most likely a jabot (similar to a cravat but lacier and layered). It was all the rage in the fashion of the early 1800's (Empire & Regency era's). Men's neckwear changed throughout the 1800's, usually it took several years (decade in fact) for the various styles to filter down from the wealthy to the poor.
Now, what about the time traveling cell phone user caught on some early film footage that is splashed all over the grid today? Was it an EVO or a an Iphone?
Anonymous said... It is a man and maybe his son. The man on the right has his hand in his pocket or on his right leg. The little boy looking at the person taking the picture. He may also have his right hand on his leg also, both legs on wall. The reason they seem transparant, the photo was taken from a distance.
i have two theories: a man proposing or a father kneeling to his child
They are fishing. Could be my imagination, but I think you can almost see the fishing pole the guy on the right is holding
There are several human forms in the photos on the Rochester site. For example: in Plate 2, which I presume predates this one, there is a man with his leg on the gunwhale at the stern of the Car of Commerce, and a double exposure of a person four doors back from the paddle wheel on the upper deck of the Embassy.
In the same photo (Plate 2)there appears to be a group of men leaning on the rail at the bow of the Packet General Worth.
My vote is: one African-American male. Ironic that a black male would be in one of the first American photographs. Will give plenty of material for racist armchair internet comedians.
i believe it's 2 men. the one at the right couldn't be a woman b'coz i don't see any long dress there, people in those time wore long dresses. the one kneeling down on his right knee is really facing towards the river. his right shoulder is being shone by the sun. the most logical reason why they are by the river bank is they must be fishing and that explains why the guy at the left is kneeling down. this is how i see the picture.
It must be the romantic in me, but I think it is an act of proposal, the man is in his knee proposing to a lady <3
It's much clearer if you use the zoom function on the NPR site. The transparency on the version here is the result of playing around with the contrast, etc. and is not from the figures moving around during the exposure. The exposure time for a daguerreotype of the time would have been between 10 and 60 seconds, so not much chance of it being the same figure in 2 separate poses.
In the NPR version, it very much looks as if it is a man sitting on a stool and a standing boy (or smaller man) leaning over the edge of the dock. From that I might guess that one or both of them are fishing. As for the "wall" mentioned in other posts, it is a dock; you don't run a dock out onto the water and then throw up a wall at the end. The "wall" is just the supporting end of the dock, the deck of which curves back up onto the shore. The figures are on top of the dock and not standing behind and on top of a wall.
You know what im thinking about this picture and this one/two men standing before the water, is it possible that they are waiting for the boat, im no historian so i dont know if they paddled out or docked, also i do think it is one man and the exposure made it look like two, he was standing waiting for the boat, then he put his leg up on the dock and continued to wait in a chilling position?
It looks like to me that its children or young men standing on a dock made of all wood boards to the water maybe geting water from the river or fishing but who knows pretty neat
I didn't read all of the posts so maybe someone else has already said this.....but I think it looks like the guy on the left is kneeling and the one on the right actually looks kinda like a woman in a dress. Proposing maybe? Just what it looks like to me.
It's two aliens looking at all of us thinking what a bunch of idiots eveeyone is trying to figure out what it is a picture of!!! WHO CARES?!
Maybe its the same person putting their left foot up on the wall and then standing on the wall after getting up on it. The exposure captured the start and finish of the motion to get onto the wall
Amazing capture, thank you for sharing. I am just wondering if it was a single person in movement as the wall before them figures is so clear and the wooden dock/floor behind them is clear. Yet the two figures themselves appear almost fuzzy and see through, thus I would think that it might have been on person who moved.
I think it's two time travelers from our future who went back in time to pull an April Fools joke on us here in 2010. Judging by all the comments, I think it worked!! :-)
There must have been movement because you can see the lines of the planks through both images.
Guy on left is sitting on pile of lumber with his feet pointed to sides. Guy on right has his left hand in pant pocket
Throwing my two cents here. To me, it seems like the guy on the left is an image of the guy on the right. Some type of exposure problem perhaps?
As for the two stump things below the person on the right, could those be some sort of bollards for a ship's rope to tie to?
If you look at the picture again, you can see that the two stump/bollards are much clearer than the person, which I think suggests that its stationary when the photo was taken.
UHH i think you guys are looking to far into this its just a picture, but if you really want to know why don't you ask witnesses that were there? oh wait there all dead! hmm seems its a cold case!
<3 weird teenager that likes to ruin stupid adults funn
Looks like the guy on the left is kneeling in a sort of proposal position, and the guy on the right is standing thoughtfully. It sort of looks like the 1800s too, what with the "bibs" somebody referred to, and maybe tail coats? O.0
I am sorry to say, but it is not the first picture ever taken of a person or two people. The first was taken in Paris aproximately ten years earlier. The first picture taken by Daggeur, who also invent daggeurreotype. He was testing the process.
If it is the same man in two sequential poses, perhaps he is stepping up onto the wall/beam/whatever it is. So in the first one he is putting his leg up to step up and in the second one he is up and standing.
OMG...I can't stop laughing at al of you.....you're all a bunch of whackos!!!!!!!!!!
I posted my comment earlier but have not seen it so perhaps I didn't really submit it. My apologies if this is a duplicate.
If it was a proposal, the person kneeling would be looking at the person standing don't you think.
My first thought was two school children holding their homework by their teeth keeping their hands free for fishing. (probably not) They could be using only line and hook with no pole.
Perhaps this is where the term "playing hooky", skipping or ditching school, came from. (fishing, fishhook)
The dock looks like a dinghy or fishing boat dock. The front wood face would prevent boats from slipping under the dock.
I read the comment about the neck apparel possibly being a jabot.
Another thought is the 'new' dickey that was just introduced about that time.
Checking on Wikipedia for 1840's apparel, I came up with this.
1840s in fashion
Scroll down here for photos and text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1840s_in_fashion
Shirts and cravats
Shirts of linen or cotton featured lower standing collars, occasionally turned down, and were worn with wide cravats or neck ties tied in several different ways:
Around the neck, knotted in front and puffed up to hide the shirt collar and create a pigeon like neck
Similar to the first version but tucked down into the waistcoat
Around the neck and knotted into a bow tie
The "Osbaldiston", a barrel shape knot under the chin
Knotted in a wide pointy bow. Dark cravats were popular for day wear and patterned ones were worn in the country.
At this time, the dickey was introduced, a false shirt front usually made of satin. It was worn as an "intentionally messy" look.
sorry guys and gals. Its most likely a reflection off the water from a near by object caught by an inferior lens.
Not at all a photographer. Was wondering why the people look see through. Not sure if it is the quality of the picture or what. JUST CURIOUS
didn't read all posts, so hope not redundant, but looks like person on left is kneeling on right leg, wears bib overalls, is dark skinned and wearing light colored small brimmed hat. person on the right is in long tailed coat, facing left for side view thus looks very thin. The white spots on the breasts are nothing but rub spots
Hi, I think it looks like a man purposing to a woman to ask her hand in marriage.
i have to go with the white ruffled shirts being part of the uniform for the staff of the side-wheeler tied up at the right. cant see any passengers on the decks of the side-wheeler so two staff workers are taking a last break an hour or so before folks began to arrive and embark for their trip up or down river. fun post thanks.
This photo has recently been proven to be an advanced form of daguerreotype alteration known as phoerttoshoppetype (USA Today 10/18/2010). The transparency of the figures is the first clue. Also notice how the figure on the left bares an uncanny resemblence to the character from the original Pitfall game. It has been extensively documented that these manually operated "phonovids" were commercially available to well-to-do families beginning in 1841, and Pitfall was one of the first games developed, remaining practically unchanged for 140 years. The figure on the right, upon close scrutiny, proves to be that of a zombie. These undead were rampant, and actually well documented and photographed, from the mid 18th century to the mid 19th century. Unfortunately, the extensive archives, stored in Chicago, given it's centralized location, were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871. All things considered however, this is an extremely rare and valuable find.
um yeah i agree they're ghosts. they look very eerie and see-through. my first feeling looking at the photo was that it was very creepy.
i think it is only one person climbing up.. the first image is when his left foot was caught and second image was when he was up the dock..double exposure i guess or the camera was just too slow at that time.. the type of photography was only for still image but if it moves they get multiple images like ghosts..
They look fake or like a ghost, the guy is practically see through. There is no wall and the guy is significantly shorter. They look like its been photoshopped or something because the rest of the picture has good clarity but the ment look blured/see through. Sorry.
While I haven't read ALL the post here, some have alluded to the double exposure theory. I tend to think that makes the most sense, since the background elements (rocks, wood planks, etc.) seem relatively sharp, but the figure(s) seems somewhat transparent. Confirms to me that's it's one person in two exposures. Either that or it's Stymie's Grandparents, fishing.
My opinion is its ONE person in two different poses. He was in the process of kneeling to use the bucket to get the water from the river. It took longer to process the picture back then so that would explain the transparency in the photo of the person. Just a theory. But it does look like the same person just changing the pose.
to me it looks like the guy on the left is sitting down. maybe caught the guy as he was walking up on the right?
I think it's 2 men. One sitting on something while fishing and the other gentleman is standing there and they're talking about the concerns of the times.
There appears to be a well dressed man walking into the alley behind the "Lath Factory".
Like the photo you posted of the shoeshine in Paris better, but nevertheless, this is truly a remarkable photo. Thanks for sharing. I also have a remarkable photo of a barmaid ghost I saw at an abandoned saloon tonight:
Gee! I thought man existed since yesterday. What a big fuzz over it.
I just saw the original picture in krulwich, and guess what... there is someone else in the picture. You will see a guy in dark suit walking past a bench and a tree in the road in the middle of the picture, next to the "painter" building. He's walking from right to left, and he's about to disappear behind that building.
I think its two people. You can see their reflections in the water.
two black kids fishing
In 1848, there was slavery and the Ohio River was very significant -- once you crossed over that river to the northern side, you were relatively free. So this might be the earliest known photo of a slave fugitive.
I think they could be superimposed. Everything around them is solid. They are transparent and have no shadows. The sun is from behind and there is no reflection in the water. There are to verticle lines in the water but the "bibs" would reflect off the water. What do you think the GhostHunters would say? Hell, I don't know I hate Photoshop. Just my opinion
This picture is of the Cincinnati waterfront. Cincinnati is in Ohio. Ohio was a Free State. This man - I tend to believe the man in two stagnant positions (probably fishing) theory - is not a slave.
i know its an old sketchy photo but it cant be the same man in 2 different frames because if that were to be true there would be 2 of everything etc that dock or cliff they are standing on those 2 wooden planks on the left and theres not that is why that theory is incorrect. its 2 men standing on something
I think it's a guy proposing to a girl. This photo would make for a great Valentine's Day Card! :)
After zooming in quite a bit, I believe it to be indeed 2 separate men. The man on the right appears to be balding. That's why the head is so much lighter at the top, the sun's reflection. The man kneeling on the left is not balding. Also, sorry... I see no bucket or any signs of a bucket.
If you look at the wooden boards on the wharf/dock/pier that they they are standing on, it looks like a profile of a head is there too. Looks like someone may have been sitting on the edge to me.
peoples spirits were different in those days life was harder than modern America today alot of poverty hardship racism corruption and illness these are the ancestors they should be respected we should all respect our ancestors because we stand on thier shoulders
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