The first photograph ever posted to the web

On July 18, 1992, a CERN technician posted a Photoshopped picture of four friends to the World Wide Web and inadvertently made internet history

By TheWeek.com Jul 12, 2012 11:13AM

The image: The particulars of history can be very mundane, says the Huffington Post. The first photo ever taken was of an obscured rooftop, the first television broadcast was of a ventriloquist's dummy and the first photograph ever uploaded to the World Wide Web was this: A poorly Photoshopped promo still for a little-known female comedy band called Les Horribles Cernettes.


The photograph was uploaded to the web on July 18, 1992, when CERN (yes, that CERN) IT developer Silvano de Gennaro uploaded the GIF file using the now-famous HTTP protocol that birthed the web pages most of us use to access the internet today. "The web, back in '92 and '93, was exclusively used by physicists," says de Gennaro, who admits he "didn't know what the web was." The Cernettes, composed of administrative assistants and significant others of CERN scientists, wrote cheesy doo-wop songs about physics. As a joke, Gennaro superimposed the foursome onto a sky-blue background using Photoshop 1.0 on his color Mac. "When history happens," he said, "you don't know that you're in it."

The reaction:
 It's "terrible and charming," photo scholar Lesley Martin tells Motherboard. So-called "first" photos are always "semi-accidental and seemingly inconsequential." This case is no exception. Yeah, it's remarkably bad, says Network World, but back then, no one could've guessed that an album cover for an obscure comedy band would eventually "snowball into about 300 million daily photos uploaded to Facebook alone." You're all looking at this the wrong way, says Chris Matyszczyk at CNET. Not only is the shot "iconic," but it represents a giant leap forward to the LOLcat internet economy we know today. The playful symbolism behind that isn't something to take lightly. "The file was a GIF. The shot was a gift."

 

Sources: The Huffington Post, Motherboard, Network World, CNET
 
More from The Week:



1Comment
Jul 13, 2012 1:57PM
avatar
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT TECHBIZ

Start investing in technology companies with help from financial writers and experts who know the industry best. Learn what to look for in a technology company to make the right investment decisions.

RECENT POSTS

Airbnb, Uber targeting business travelers

With new apps geared toward booking business trips, two startup stars of the sharing economy aim to tap into the lucrative -- and highly competitive -- corporate travel market.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

RECENT QUOTES

WATCHLIST

Symbol
Last
Change
Shares
Quotes delayed at least 15 min

MSN MONEY'S