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Before the iPhone: What selfies in the 1800s looked like

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:00PM EST
Selfie History

The concept of the “selfie” has seemingly taken on a life of its own in recent months. Today, the word is actually an official entry in both the Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries. What’s more, there’s even a selfie emoji in the works that may land on your iPhone sooner rather than later. Given the ubiquity of smartphones, not to mention the cultural phenomenon that is the selfie, it’s been estimated that there will be 1 trillion photos taken in 2015.

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Truth be told, selfies are not really a new phenomenon. In fact, if one travels back to the earliest days of photography, it wasn’t uncommon to see people taking photos of themselves. Of course, doing so wasn’t as simple as whipping out an iPhone, outstretching your arm, and pressing a button. Back then, selfies were taken the old fashioned way, with a mirror.

Earlier this week, PetaPixel assembled a great collection of some vintage selfie shots dating all the way back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

This next photo was taken in 1898 by Henri Evenepoel. He was 26 at the time.

Make sure to hit the source link below for even more photos which showcase what the earliest selfies, or self-portraits as they were known back then, looked like.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.


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