On this day: the birth of Robert Cornelius

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”.

Here is his portrait:

Robert Cornelius was an American pioneer of photography and a lamp manufacturer. World's first selfie 1839.

On this day: a Ballet Premiere

Michaël Denard (James) et Ghislaine Thesmar (La Sylphide) entourés des « filles de l_air » lors du tournage du ballet en 1971 © Francette Levieux OnP

Source

The romantic ballet La Sylphide premiered in Paris on the 12th of March, 1832. The ballet was created by Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni as a showcase for his ballerina daughter Marie, the dancer generally credited with being the first to ever dance en pointe.

As the original production was lost, French choreographer Pierre Lacotte used old records and images to recreate a new production for the Paris Opera in the 1970s.

This promotional photograph by Francette Levieux is from the revival. It features Michaël Denard as James and Ghislaine Thesmar in the title role. Thesmar is the wife of Lacotte.

On this day: a Russian attack on Warsaw

This 1837 painting by Mikhail Lermontov depicts Russian Guard Hussars attacking Warsaw, Poland on the 7th of September, 1831. The original date given was the 26th of August, as the Russian Empire followed the old calendar.

The Battle of Warsaw was part of the Polish–Russian War of 1830–31 (otherwise known as the November Uprising). Tens of thousands were killed in the battle that resulted in the defeat of Polish uprising and victory for the Russians.

Russian_Guard_Hussars_attacking_Warsaw_7th_September_1831 Russian Guard Hussars attacking Warsaw 7th September 1831. Mikhail Lermontov

On this day: a new Queen

At 6am on the 20th of June, 1837, eighteen-year-old Victoria was woken to the news she was now Queen of the United Kingdom.

This marked the beginning of the long Victorian era, which concluded with her death in 1901.

The image below, created in 1887, depicts Victoria receiving the news of her accession.

Queen Victoria receiving the news of her accession to the throne, 20 June 1837.

And as illustrated in 1895:

NPG D33592; 'Your Majesty' (William Howley; Francis Nathaniel Conyngham, 2nd Marquess Conyngham; Queen Victoria) published by The Graphic, after  Mary Louisa Gow

William Morris’ 182nd Birthday

For a reason unknown to me my computer is set to the UK, so I had the privilege of seeing the series of William Morris-themed Google doodles today. However, apparently these aren’t being used elsewhere.

William Morris was a renowned English textile designer in the Victorian era. He was born on the 24th of March, 1834.

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