Weird History These Are The 16 Oldest Surviving Photographs Known To Mankind, And They're Stunning  

Cleo Egnal
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Photography has influenced society since its inception in the 11th century. The oldest photographs depict fascinating details about life before pictures were common. From historical war photos to amazing images of space, the earliest surviving pictures known to man have a profound and engaging aura. 

The very first camera was invented by an Iraqi scientist in the 11th century. Called the "camera obscura," the device only projected images onto other surfaces, and upside down at that. However, in the early 19th century, photography as we know it was born. French photographer Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a portable version of the 11th century "to expose a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light." This became the first incarnation of permanent photography.

The images in this list are some of the oldest photographs, and most of them are the first of their kind. From the first picture ever taken by Niépce to the first movie, these images capture the development of permanent photography throughout the course of the 19th century. 

First Photograph On A Camera


First Photograph On A Camera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Are The 16 Oldest Surviving Photographs Known To Mankind, And They're Stunning
Photo:  Joseph Nicéphore Niépce /Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

View from the Window at Le Gras, 1826, Saône-et-Loire, Bourgogne, France.

First Photograph With A Human In It


First Photograph With A Human ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Are The 16 Oldest Surviving Photographs Known To Mankind, And They're Stunning
Photo:  Louis Daguerre/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Boulevard du Temple, 1838, Paris, France. 

First Self-Portrait Photograph


First Self-Portrait Photograph is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Are The 16 Oldest Surviving Photographs Known To Mankind, And They're Stunning
Photo:  Robert Cornelius/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

"Robert Cornelius, head-and-shoulders [self-]portrait, facing front, with arms crossed," 1839, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US.

First Photograph Of The Moon


First Photograph Of The Moon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Are The 16 Oldest Surviving Photographs Known To Mankind, And They're Stunning
Photo:  John William Draper/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

1840, rooftop observatory at NYU, New York, US.