Since the invention of the first camera, mankind has been able to document a lot of historic moments mankind has achieved on this planet. Some of the images are a gentle reminder of how far we have come since it was first discovered. Everything that happens in our life has once happened for the first time. For instance, the world’s first selfie or the world’s first cellphone making the world’s first phone call. Thanks to photography, such moments have been beautifully captured for future generations to enjoy. Without further ado, here are 10 pictures of famous first times in history.
1. This is the world’s first selfie, taken in 1839.
The image above is believed to be the world’s first selfie, a self-portrait captured by Robert Cornelius one day in October 1839, while standing in the yard behind his family’s lamp store in Philadelphia. According to the Library of Congress, Cornelius had to hold this position for somewhere between three and 15 minutes, depending on the amount of light in his backyard during the exposure.
2. The world’s first heart that is completely artificial.
The fully self contained artificial heart is a technological breakthrough and gives hope to patients awaiting a human heart. Unlike a human heart, the artificial heart first delivers blood systemically and then pumps blood to the lungs for oxygenation. Abiocor is made of titanium and plastic, and is roughly the size of a softball.
3. Sally Halterman, 1937 – The first woman in Washington to be granted a license to drive a motorcycle.
In 1900, Anne French became the first woman to be issued a license to drive an automobile in Washington D.C. However, women were not allowed to ride motorcycles. It took another 37 years before the first woman was issued a motorcycle license. Sally Robinson, a.k.a. Sally Halterman, received that license in September of 1937.
4. The first ever photograph of lightning.
It’s not easy to capture lightning. You have to be precise and wait for exact moment to press the shutter release. With the latest technological advancements, it is much easier. However, in 1882, photographer William Jennings captured lightning, to become the first photographer to ever do so. He also used his findings to showcase that lightning was much more complicated than originally thought.
5. The world’s first cell phone.
On April 3, 1973, Motorola employee Martin Cooper called AT&T’s Joel Engel from midtown Manhattan and informed him that Motorola had beaten AT&T by developing the world’s very first cell phone. When he called Engel, the first words ever uttered into a cell phone was: “Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cell phone, a real, handheld, portable cell phone”. The above photo shows the world’s first cell phone Martin Cooper used to make the call. However, the original call was made from the street. The photo above is a reenactment of the moment in 2007. The device weighed more than 2 lbs, held charge for only half an hour, and took 10 hours to charge.
6. Café Terrace at Night, 1888, was the first painting of Vincent van Gogh in which he used a starry sky.
“Café Terrace at Night” is one of three Arles paintings that feature Van Gogh’s distinctive star-filled sky. Vincent painted the café terrace scene on location rather than from memory. The café in the painting is still in existence, renamed the Café Van Gogh. Another interesting thing about this picturesque painting is that the positions of the stars in the night sky is accurate, according to astronomical data.
7. The first color photograph.
The first color photograph was taken by the mathematical physicist, James Clerk Maxwell. The piece above is considered the first durable color photograph. Although the shutter button was pressed by the inventor of the SLR, Thomas Sutton, Maxwell is credited with the scientific process that made it possible. If you’re having trouble understanding the above image, it is a three-color bow.
8. Mr and Mrs Henry Ford in his first car.
On June 4, 1896, Henry Ford unveiled the “Quadricycle”, the first automobile he ever designed or drove. It had a simple frame with an ethanol powered engine that utilized bicycle tires to move. When Ford’s invention gained popularity, it became a necessity for the wealthy. The earlier models were built entirely by hand and were very expensive. The invention of the “Quadricycle” is considered an important innovation that laid the foundation for the future of automobile industry.
9. The first photograph of Earth from moon.
Though grainy in quality, the Earth was photographed from the Moon in all its glory on August 23, 1966. A Lunar Orbiter traveling in the vicinity of the Moon captured this breathtaking shot and was then received at Robledo De Chervil in Spain. “Lunar Orbiter’s two pictures of the Earth taken from near the Moon, 240,000 miles away, showed photographically for the first time the Earth in one of its Moon-like phases at present a crescent-shaped ‘last quarter’ Earth,” the New York Times pointed out in an article published a few days after the photographs were taken.
10. The Apple I was the first computer developed by Steve Wozniak and presented to the public by Steve Jobs.
The Apple I was the result of the development efforts of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ron Wayne. It was developed in the bedroom of Steve Wozniak’s home. Steve Wozniak built the printed circuit-board, while Ron Wayne wrote the Apple-1 Operation Manual at his home. Steve Jobs did what he was always good at; advertising his products. Jobs showed the Apple I to friends and family and then on May 1976, at a meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club, he presented the next generation model.
Paul Terell, the owner of the Byte Shop, the only computer store chain at the time, was extremely impressed by this. He promised Jobs that he would buy 50 fully assembled computers for $500 each, paving the path towards success for the trio.