American photography pioneer Robert Cornelius was born in Philadelphia on the 1st of March, 1809.
Cornelius, born to a Dutch immigrant father and a lamp manufacturer by profession, is credited as having taken the first photographic self-portrait, in 1839. He was required to sit still for more than ten minutes to capture the image.
Today he is sometimes called the inventor of the “selfie”.
The third theatre on London’s Drury Lane burnt to the ground on the 24th of February, 1809, after only standing for fifteen years.
The painting, circa 1809, depicts the sky on fire from Westminster Bridge as the building collapsed.
The theatre’s owner, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was famously seen drinking a glass of wine as the building burnt. He is said to have responded to baffled onlookers: “A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.”
The present day Theatre Royal, Drury Lane opened in 1812 and is today one of London’s most important theatres.