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The Kid Should See This

What was found in a French child’s 120-year-old time capsule?

What might a French child of the early 1900s cherish and keep in hidden tin box? In this case: Images of “a very special cat! This photo was shot 120 years ago by a little girl and only a century later you can admire it,” wrote Paris-based French photographer Mathieu Stern. “I found the glass plate negative in a time capsule with other objects and I used the cyanotype process to print this image and show it to you.”

'time capsule' box found in paris
Stern’s video introduces the child’s treasures, including images of two beloved pet cats and a dog, found in a silver solder ingot tin hidden in his old family home in Paris. He then developed the cyanotypes, blue and white prints made from the newly-discovered negatives, with 1800s-era chemistry. From Wikipedia:

Engineers used the process well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints. The process uses two chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide.

cyanotype of a 1900s cat
Discussion prompts: What things might you keep in a time capsule? What images would you include? What would you ask the little girl about what she kept in hers?

Cat cyanotype, developed by photographer Mathieu Stern
Related exploration: Learn about English botanist and (perhaps the first female) photographer Anna Atkins and her book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.

Related DIY activity: SunPrint Paper Kit (affiliate link).

Then watch these videos about photography next:
• Photography, from camera obscura to camera phone
• Henry Fox Talbot, the First Photographs, and the Pioneers of Photography
• Conservation of an 1842 daguerreotype, one of the oldest photographs at MoMA

Also, another time capsule: Voyager and the Golden Record, Humanity’s ambitious expedition into interstellar space.

via PetaPixel.

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