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Developing 120-Year-Old Cat Photos Found in a Family Time Capsule


YouTuber Mathieu Stern recently discovered a ‘time capsule’ in the basement of his old family home. The box—dating from about the year 1900, by Stern’s estimation—contained two glass plate negatives, which he decided to try and develop using one of the oldest photographic printing methods in existence: the Cyanotype.

“Because of my last video, someone in my family told me about a possible time capsule in our old family house,” writes Stern on his blog. “After investigation, I found a box dating from around 1900 judging by the objects and the technique of the photos found inside. So I decided to develop the images using the Cyanotype Process.”

Being a YouTuber, Stern obviously chronicled this entire endeavor—from opening the time capsule, to developing the images. Scroll down to see the photographs that Stern developed and scanned, and which prove once and for all that, even 120 years ago, cat pics ruled all:

Check out the full video up top to see the original glass plates and the Cyanotype process for yourself, and if you’re into vintage photography experiments (and weird lenses) you’ll definitely want to give Stern’s YouTube channel a closer look.

Image credits: Photos courtesy of Mathieu Stern.