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Rooftop Photo from the 1920s May be the First Group Selfie in History


We’ve shared what we believe to be the first ever selfie in history, but we’ve never had occasion to share the photograph you see being taken in the image above. Taken in the 1920s on a rooftop in New York City, what you see being captured might very well be the first ever group selfie… although we’re pretty sure they didn’t call it that.

Frankly, the photo of this group taking a selfie is a bit cooler than the resulting image we have — even an iPad seems tame compared to holding this massive box out for an exposure — but the actual ‘first group selfie’ is pretty fascinating as well:

Uncle Joe Byron, Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, Pop Core, Ben Falk-New York Dec. 1920.

Notice this isn’t the exact photo being taken in the exposure at the top, but it’s likely it was taken during the same ‘selfie session’

The photographs, which were both taken nearly a century ago in December of 1920, show the photographers of the Byron Company — one of New York’s pre-eminent commercial photography studios from 1892 to 1942, according to the New York Times.

From left to right we have Joseph Byron, Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, Pop Core and Ben Falk, with Byron and Falk tasked with holding the heavy camera during the exposure. No word on which of these gentlemen decided to apply the gaudy retro-style filter…

To learn more about either of these images or browse through the rest of The Byron Company digital archive, head over to the Museum of the City of New York website by clicking here.

(h/t ClassicPics)

Image credits: Photographs from the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York