Spy-cam shots from 1890

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/02/spy-cam-shots-from-1890.html


People really made an effort to look nice back then. These days you see people walking around in public wearing pajama pants, Crocs and shirts like this…


it was dope until the Met’s website crashed the shit out of my browser.

I like this site’s page on Stormer, it shows him and his camera and is not crash-y


I mean, I guess… women also had to walk around in incredibly uncomfortable clothes all the time, including corsets, long, cumbersome dresses, and big old hats. I can’t imagine it was fun. At least the people in t-shirts, crocs, and PJ pants are comfy and not in danger of catching on fire all the time:

I do think that there is probably a happy medium, but I’d guess that people didn’t dress that way because they always wanted to, but because it was social enforced etiquette they had to abide by.


I think that cat isn’t fooled.



What a creep ahead of his time !

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An earlier example from Sydney

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Thanks! Check out this tactical group here (from your link)


Kinda amazing to think how the Camera was the early disruptive technology and all the privacy concerns that popped up back then.

Here is an animated short from 1912 about Infidelity and privacy concerns of insects:

I find it also wild that this short was made 5 years before Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis and I do wonder if he got some inspiration from it.


Guessing the upskirt photos are in a separate gallery.

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Thanks for this, I was most curious about the camera, though I guess the round frames should have been a clue to how it worked.

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Cool. Hat doffing was a real thing.


It appears that the film was shaped like a disc, rather than on a roll. Like a ViewMaster. This way it could be flatter. And there used to be a low-quality consumer camera in the 80’s that worked like this as well.


I suppose he was using one of these:

Takes a picture through a vest buttonhole.

The pictures in the park with the dog were the best, in my opinion.


When I saw this photo it reminded me of the Land of Oz - minus Technicolor.


Some of the pictures remind me a lot of a Gustave Caillebotte painting: the clothing, the poses, the wide streets, the difuminated buildings in the background.


They also made an effort to name things. C.P. Stern Concealed Vest Spy Camera! Nowadays it’d be called iSpy.


If we call those women middle-class Europeans c. 1900 (not to confuse them with the median European of the time, who’d be much closer to poverty) then they’re wearing a sizable fraction of their net worth as they go about their business. This is the functional equivalent of dressing like Louise Linton every day of your life–and not because they were spendthrifts. Any clothing was to some degree a luxury item, well into the era of machine textiles and sweatshops.

That’s why you see pictures of Victorian chimney sweeps and alley-dwelling thugs wearing what are, topologically at least, three-piece suits. It’s not because they’re classy. It’s because the grimy rags they wore day in and day out came to them that way.

Ms. Fartshirt, by contrast, has the option to dress in clothes that are practically disposable, and sensibly takes advantage of that fact. The rude message that offends people who might look down their noses at her adds very little to the cost.


‘Well, topologically speaking, I look smart’ is something that is now entering my lexicon. Thank you.

yeah, it clicked for me the same way

hey, my first camera!

yep, that’s it. the 1890s Kodak Disc