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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

1890s Spy Camera Street Photography by 19 Year Old Carl Størmer

Carl Størmer (1872-1957) got his C.P. Stirn Concealed Vest Spy Camera in 1893 when he was studying mathematics at the Royal Frederick University (now, University of Oslo) Norway.

 "It was a round flat canister hidden under the vest with the lens sticking out through a buttonhole," he told St. Hallvard Journal in 1942. "Under my clothes I had a string down through a hole in my trouser pocket, and when I pulled the string the camera took a photo."

These wonderfully candid images are a window into a time when most photographs were very formal and rigid. One of the first good examples of street photography.  



“I was a young 19 year-old student at the time and had gotten hold of a funny detective camera.” ~ Carl Størmer 
"It was a round flat canister hidden under the vest with the lens sticking out through a buttonhole. Under my clothes I had a string down through a hole in my trouser pocket, and when I pulled the string the camera took a photo.
I strolled down Carl Johan, found me a victim, greeted, got a gentle smile and pulled. Six images at a time and then I went home to switch plate.” Størmer lived nearby Karl Johan and took a total of 500 images." 
~ Carl Størmer 
 
 






 

 





















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4 comments:

  1. These are fabulous -- thank you for sharing them. I encouraged my friends who are interested in vintage and historic fashion to check out your blog as well.

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  2. There are a bunch of historic views I've seen, today. I really love photographs like these, especially from a time when photography was more expensive and difficult to do.

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  3. I am really amazed to see that in a year like that spy camera existed. At that time there was no photo stabilization, but yet the moving people were captured very well. Mind blowing.

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