Monday, November 28, 2016

Does this 1925 photo show the world's first 'selfie stick'?

While the selfie stick seems like a modern device that's only been around for a few years, the concept has actually existed for quite a while in a variety of different forms.

Alan Cleaver from Whitehaven sent this picture of his grandparents to BBC Radio Cumbria - could it be the first photo taken with a 'selfie stick'?

An almost 100 year-old photograph provided by freelance journalist Alan Cleaver from 1925 taken in central England shows his grandparents are taking a photo of themselves with the aid of, yes, a long pole. In fact, you might even call it a stick.

The photo was taken in Rugby, in Warwickshire just after his grandparents Arnold and Helen Hogg got married. Fortunately for us, Arnold Hogg committed the rookie error of accidently including the pole in shot, preserving the evidence of his selfie stick for posterity.

Cleaver told the BBC: "It's always been a favourite photo of the family," adding that his granddad was a renowned entertainer and musician. "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," he said. "It's wonderful that the rest of the world is delighting in the humour of this situation."

Amateur box cameras of the 1920s would not have been able to take an in-focus self-photo when held at arms length, so photographers would have had to use a remote shutter device like a cable, or build their own gadget - as Arnold Hogg apparently did.

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