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January 2, 2024

20 Amazing Vintage Snaps of People Taken With a Selfie Stick Before It Was Invented

People have always faced issues while taking selfies, especially when there is a very large crowd involved. However, with the use of a selfie stick, group pictures and selfies can be taken with ease. Though the invention of a selfie stick seem like a recent invention, it does have a little history behind it.

The history of homemade selfie sticks can be traced back to 1925. A photo from earlier this year shows a man taking a picture of himself and his wife with a long out-of-frame stick pointed at the camera. Amateur box cameras of the period could not have captured a self-portrait in focus when held at arm’s length, requiring photographers to use remote shutter devices such as cables or sticks.

A device which has been likened to the selfie stick appears in the 1969 Czechoslovak sci-fi film I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen. One character holds a silver stick in front of herself and another character, smiles at the end of the stick as it produces a camera flash, and immediately unfurls a printed photograph of the pair from the stick's handle.

The 1983 Minolta Disc-7 camera had a convex mirror on its front to allow the composition of self-portraits, and its packaging showed the camera mounted on a stick while used for such a purpose. A “telescopic extender” for compact handheld cameras was patented by Ueda Hiroshi and Mima Yujiro in 1983, and a Japanese selfie stick was featured in a 1995 book of “101 Un-Useless Japanese Inventions.” While dismissed as a “useless invention” at the time, the selfie stick later gained global popularity in the 21st century.

Canadian inventor Wayne Fromm patented his Quik Pod in 2005 and becoming commercially available in the United States the following year. In 2012, Yeong-Ming Wang filed a patent for a “multi-axis omni-directional shooting extender” capable of holding a smartphone, which won a silver medal at the 2013 Concours Lepine. The term “selfie stick” did not become widely used until 2014. Extended forms of selfie sticks can hold laptop computers to take selfies from a webcam. By the fall of 2015 technology news noted that there was a large variety of selfie sticks available on the market; Molly McCugh of Wired magazine wrote in October 2015, “Some are very, very long; some aren't so long; some are bedazzled. Some look like hands. Some are spoons. But they are all, at the end of the day, one thing: A stick that takes selfies.”

The selfie stick was listed in Time magazine’s 25 best inventions of 2014, while the New York Post named the selfie stick the most controversial gift of 2014. At the end of December 2014, Bloomberg News noted that selfie sticks had ruled the 2014 holiday season as the “must-have” gift of the year. The selfie stick has been criticized for its association with the perceived narcissism and self-absorption of contemporary society, with commentators in 2015 dubbing the tool the “Narcisstick” or “Wand of Narcissus”. In November 2015, The Atlantic conducted a survey of Silicon Valley insiders which named the selfie stick as one of two technologies that tech leaders would most like to “un-invent” with the only invention on the same level being nuclear weapons. Despite various bans, selfie sticks proved so popular that a selfie stick store was opened in Times Square during the summer of 2015. In 2016 it was reported that Coca-Cola had created a “selfie bottle” with an attached camera that takes pictures when it is tipped for drinking.


  1. Using a stick to press the shutter release while the camera rests on something is not the same as using a selfie stick. A selfie stick's main purpose is to hold the camera while a bluetooth remote or self timer on the camera is used to activate the shutter. The sticks in the posted photos do not hold the camera. Also, self timers were available at the time of the photos and could have been used by these people instead of a stick.




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