Fascinating Film from 1939 Looks Back at the First Hundred Years of Photography

In 1939, British Pathé — whose fascinating photography-related old videos we’ve shared before — covered something truly amazing: 100 years of photography. It had been 100 years since the camera was invented and so, they took a look back at how those years had changed and refined the art of capturing images using a light-tight box and whatever light-sensitive material you happen to have at hand.

The video really does earn the term ‘fascinating,’ but beyond condensing some great educational tidbits into just a couple of minutes, it also makes you wonder at what 2036’s look back will show. There are already so many wonders we have to celebrate at the 175-year mark, how many more do the next 25 years hold?

(via Reddit)

  • Zos Xavius

    Cool video. It was especially nice to see a working early version of a proto fax machine (the machine that scanned the photographs). I forget what they were called exactly. This was from 1939, so I’m pretty sure at that time that Talbot was considered the inventor of photography, but that distinction goes to Nicéphore Niépce, who’s experiments predated Talbot by at least a decade and led to the development of the daguerreotype.

  • David

    Thank you for posting but these are not videos, they are films converted to a digital format, video was not invented for another 20/30 years and also the term video is miisused, Pathe only used film and the archive has just been digitised and released on the web.

  • AdminHarald

    Correct (on the last part). It wasn’t until 1952 that Helmut Gernsheim filled in the holes on photo history and Niepce’s place in it. You can read my story about it here:
    [if link above is gone, search for “The First Photo”]

  • Jeremiah True

    I liked the video but also want to bring back that announcer and that style of delivery. I like old war footage for how upbeat and positive sounding they were. I know it is all propaganda though.