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: Josephine Cochrane dies

Josephine_Garis_CochranIn 1886 Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913), a woman from Shelbyville, Illinois made the first practical mechanical dishwasher.

In 1886 Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913), a woman from Shelbyville, Illinois made the first practical mechanical dishwasher.

Though Cochrane was rich, had never washed dishes herself and had servants, she wanted a machine that could get the job done quickly and without damaging the crockery.

As nothing of the sort existed, she made one herself!

She was successful, and others started requesting dishwashing machines. Her machines started being used in restaurants in Illinios. After patenting her design, she went into business. Today her company has become part of the Whirlpool brand.