This 1838 photograph is the very first known photo of a human being. If you ok closely at the street near the bottom left hand hand corner you will notice a man getting his shows shined.
The photo shows a street called Rue du Temple in Paris. The two men had no idea that they were being photographed and we will almost never know their names.
One of the things that is remarkable about the photo is that the streets are completely empty except for the man getting his shoes shined and the shoe shiner. But appearances can be deceiving. The lack of other people on the street is likely due to the 10 minute exposure time, which meant that all of the horses, carriages and pedestrians going by simply were not captured on film. It would be interesting to see if it would be possible to somehow recover the images of the “invisible” passersby in order to get a more realiistic view of what life was like in this moment in time.