Blast From the Past! Guess the Decade of These Photos!


In the era of smartphones, practically everyone has a camera. We document every aspect of our lives, from food to cats. For a long time, though, photos captured special moments. From the earliest known (but crude) photograph in 1826 to now, we've documented our history in images.

The daguerreotype was created and introduced to the world in 1839. This is the advent of practical photography. It produced a clear image that had a relatively short exposure time.

Photography made great advances over the next decades, and in 1888, George Eastman made the first Kodak camera, making photography accessible to a wider audience.

Now, we propose a challenge. Can you guess the decade of these photos? We've got photos from the 19th and 20th centuries that cover the most poignant, the weird, the intriguing, and the historic moments captured in time. Give it a try and see how you match up!

Did you know?

The history of the camera starts long before the existence of photography.

The camera obscura (or pinhole camera) is credited in the 10th century to Arab scholar Ibn Al-Haytham, but there are references to the camera obscura in Chinese texts from 400 BC and Aristotle. This optical device uses light to project an inverted image on a surface. With the invention of lenses in the 17th century, the camera obscura was used to project larger images to help draw and paint.

Magic lanterns came into use around the same time, which projected images onto larger surfaces and became a form of entertainment. In the 1820s, Joseph Niepce captured the first image with a camera obscura, though it took years to create a permanent image. Louis Daguerre improved the process and created the first permanent image in 1839. By 1850, in New York alone there were over 70 daguerreotype studios.

Henry Fox Talbot created further improvements and made it possible to reproduce images, and in 1889, George Eastman created the film, which was flexible and unbreakable. Today, digital cameras are everywhere, and photographs are still a hugely important part of our society.

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