Selfie has become popular in recent years because is the perfect solution when we are alone and want to take a photo. However, while the English Oxford dictionary defines it as “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. we can think of it as a photograph that takes itself and, in that way, it is far from being a recent phenomenon.
Long before Paris Hilton and other celebrities crowded their Instagram feed with thousands of selfies, the chemist and photographer Robert Cornelius, was responsible for the world’s first selfie – in 1839.
The self-portrait photographic was quite common in the early days of photography. And even before that, practically all the great artists painted their own self-portraits (Hello, Van Gogh!).
The North American Robert Cornelius, however, has two titles, because this same photograph taken by him is considered, at the same time, the first portrait and the first selfie of the world.
At the time, Cornelius was 30 years old and installed his camera in the back of his family’s store – in Philadelphia, to be able to do the portrait.
Removing the lens cap and then rushing to the frame, he had to sit between 3 and 15 minutes in front of his daguerreotype, a more primitive version of the camera, to get the picture.
On the image´s back, he wrote: “The first photograph with light already taken. 1839 “. Incredible, is not it?