Photography

19 Pioneering Selfies From the Dawn of Photography

Long before front-facing smartphone cameras and selfie sticks abounded—when cameras were a new and expensive commodity—human beings already had the urge to take self portraits.

With classic cameras of the late 1800s and early 1900s, the only way to do this was with use of a mirror.

This collection of 19 early selfies is about as far away as you can get from modern-day selfies—no duck faces, bunny ears or photobombers.

Although, as was the posing style at the time, expect a pout or two.

The title image above features Swiss photographer Frédéric Boissonnas and was snapped in 1900.

Now on to the next 18, in no particular order…

18. Russian princess Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, 1914 (four years prior to her murder)

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17. Luxembourgian-American photographer Edward Jean Steichen, 1917

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16. Unknown woman, Tallahassee, Florida, 1900s

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15. Belgian painter Henri Evenepoel, 1898

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14. Unknown woman in a tinted blue dress, 1900s

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13. Harold Cazneau, 1910

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12. Unknown woman with Kodet camera, 1880s

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11. Photographers in their studio, 1890

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10. Edwardian woman with Kodak Brownie box camera, 1900

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9. Unknown man with his wife, 1905

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8. Nasseredin Shah (King of Iran) with concubines, 1800s

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7. Unknown man, 1900s

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6. German fraternity, 1912

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5. Ilse Bing, age 14, Frankfurt, 1913

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4. Soldier Thomas Charles Richmond Baker, 1917

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3. Another shot of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, this time with one of her sisters, 1915

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2. Unknown woman, 1900s

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1. Trooper George Simpson Millar, Egypt, 1915 ‘Self in “Gyppo, Shaving Ship Mirror’

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