A 19th Century Mathematics Student Used a Compact Spy Camera in One of the Earliest Examples of Street Photography

All images courtesy the Norwegian Folk Museum.

Fredrik Carl Mülertz Størmer is known mostly as an accomplished mathematician and physicist from Norway, but as a side hobby he was also an amateur photographer, taking to the streets of Oslo with a bulky camera secreted in his clothing to capture candid moments of unsuspecting passersby.

 Most of his photos were taken in the 1890s while Størmer was a 19-year-old student at the Royal Frederick University using a Stirn Concealed Vest Spy Camera, a secretive camera with a narrow lens designed to poke through a vest pocket’s buttonhole.

Størmer’s photography stands in stark contrast to portraiture of the era that consisted mainly of staid and unsmiling images against decorative backdrops.

Here we see a rare view of people going about their daily lives nearly 125 years ago, often smiling and perhaps caught off guard from the young student angling for the shot.

To see more of Størmer’s work head over to Norwegian Folkmuseum.

(via Bored Panda)


 

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