by Inigo del Castillo in New Photography on Tuesday 3 December 2013

Selfie is the 2013 word of the year, according to Oxford Dictionaries. To commemorate this momentous moment for vain people everywhere, we take you back in time to the very first selfie in history.

Back in 1839, a chemist and metallurgist by the name of Robert Cornelius took a self-portrait of himself in what is to be believed as the earliest human photographic portrait. According to the Library of Congress, Cornelius took the photo in his backyard in Philadelphia using the Daguerreotype, the first publicly photographic process. The process was not as easy as holding your hand out and snapping a photo. For Cornelius, he had to take the image by removing the lens cap and then running into the frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again.

We assume he would’ve captioned it with: #first #selfie #black&white #pioneer. But instead, he simply wrote at the back, ‘The first light Picture ever taken. 1839′.