Tag Archive: 0photography

Apparently unrecorded

Apparently unrecorded

25th October 2019

October is drawing to a close, which means here in Chesham we are inundated with fireworks (for Diwali) as well as book fair preparation (for the Boston fair). Equally exciting, but the latter is perhaps more pertinent to this blog. This year we are bringing some fantastic things, including an apparently unrecorded book; privately printed […]

On this day: Thomas Mann in a photo booth

On this day: Thomas Mann in a photo booth

1st April 2016

These are rare examples of the first ever photo-booth photos.  The Bosco-Automat, a portable photo booth, was patented by the German inventor Conrad Bernitt in 1890.  There had been an earlier patent filed for an automated photography machine in America, in 1888, but it was apparently never built; other machines followed, but none was reliable.  […]

Taking pictures, talking pictures

Taking pictures, talking pictures

5th November 2015

Just over a year ago, I wrote about the first photographic manual in the world, written in 1839 by the Austrian writer Karl von Frankenstein (1810–1848).  I’d love to find another copy of that book, but I shall have to content myself for the moment with this, a complete run of the first year of a journal Frankenstein […]

Picture this

Picture this

30th October 2014

This little book (it measures only 138 × 108 mm), ‘The Secret of taking Daguerreotypes, or the Art of producing Photogenic Pictures with a Camera Obscura’, has been described as ‘the first photographic manual in the world’ (Gernsheim, Concise History of Photography (third edition, p. 11), and is also the first German publication on photography. The year 1839 […]

Cabbage patch babies

Cabbage patch babies

13th November 2013

Just this last week I discovered a publishing phenomenon I hadn’t come across before: strange Edwardian postcards, all of which feature babies.  Babies fished from rivers, babies hatching from eggs, babies growing in cabbage patches, babies playing instruments, babies riding cows, babies as flowers… It appears the genre began in Germany in the early twentieth century, […]

The end of Russia

The end of Russia

17th July 2012

Exactly 90 years ago, in Vladivostok, this album of 28 black-and-white photographs was presented ‘to the Vice-Chairman of the Priamur Zemsky Sobor, Vasily Nikolaevich Tolok’.  Priamurye, squeezed between Manchuria and the Sea of Okhotsk, was the last White Army stronghold during the Russian Civil War.  The staunch monarchist General Mikhail Diterikhs, at the invitation of […]