Is the “selfie stick” really a modern gadget?
This photograph, published by the English freelance journalist Alan Cleaver, dates back to 1925 and shows his grandparents who are taking a picture with the aid of a long pole, what today is called “selfie-stick”.
The photo was taken in Rugby, Warwickshire (central England) just after his grandparents Arnold and Helen Hogg got married.
However, in one of preparatory shots, Arnold inadvertently immortalized the pole used to shoot the photograph from a distance, leaving us with a testimony that would prove, almost a century later, technologically prophetic. Interviewed by BBC, Alan states that It’s always been a favourite photo of the family.
The journalist says his grandfather was a renowned entertainer and a musician who played piano in a local cinema until his professional career was cut short by another technological innovation: the talking film. Arnold Hogg died in 1972, and his nephew is convinced that “he’d have loved the attention the photo is getting now, more than 100 years after his birth, because he was that sort of guy – very off the wall, very entertaining.”
Michael Pritchard, the director-general of the Royal Photographic Society and an expert in the history of photography, says that he’s not aware of selfie sticks being commercially available until very recently, despite the selfies are as old as the photograph itself.
“Amateur photographers have always been an incredibly inventive bunch of people. There are lots and lots of examples over the years of amateurs devising all sorts of clever contraptions.” He says.
The amateur cameras of the 1920s would not have been able to self-focus or automatically shoot the photograph, and so Arnold Hogg build their own device.
Of course, it’s difficult to definitively prove that Hogg’s homemade contraption the world’s first selfie stick, so for now these are assumptions given by the logic of the image.
Source and Image: BBC.