These 20+ Street Photos Were Snapped in the 1890’s by a Sneaky Teenager

Avatar Amanda Froelich | January 2, 2018

Who doesn’t want to time travel? Fortunately, we can all glimpse what life was really like in the 1890’s, thanks to a sneaky (and quite intelligent) teenager.

At the age of 19, Carl Størmer (1872-1957) found intrigue by walking around Oslo, Norway, and snapping photographs of passersby. However, he didn’t stop, call out their names, and request to take a picture. Rather, he used a spy camera to take everyday pictures of the subjects. 

As Bored Panda reports, the subjects in the artist’s photographs appear quite natural. Such is a contrast to the grave and strict posing trends that were common during that time.

Credit: Carl Størmer

Størmer preferred snapping photographs of people he met upon meeting them. Said Norway’s first paparazzi: “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 [the] plate.” In total, Størmer captured about 500 secret images. 

As for the camera he used, Størmer told St. Hallvard Journal in 1942: “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.”

Størmer received his C.P. Stirn Concealed Vest Spy Camera in 1893 when he was studying mathematics at the Royal Frederick University. The establishment is now the University of Oslo. The curious individual was also fascinated with science. Reportedly, he was a mathematician and a physicist. Not only wasStørmer known for his work in number theory, he studied the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

Following are 10+ of the secretive photographs the teen captured in the 1890’s:

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Credit: Carl Størmer

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Source: Bored Panda


  • Daniel Platten

    I can say this much, people back in 1890 are NOT FAT! I did not see 1 fat person.


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