134-year-old photographic film from 1889 developed revealing two mysterious figures

A roll of photographic film that was shot all the way back in 1889 on a Kodak camera has been developed 134 years later revealing two mysteries.

1 minute & 24 seconds read time

Miss Evelyn Mackenzie is part of what is only an epic piece of film history, as the photographic film she snapped back in 1889 has finally been developed 134 years later.

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The film that was recently developed was a Kodak nitrate-based celluloid roll film and was originally shot on a No.1 Kodak camera owned by Miss Evelyn Mackenzie. As the name suggests, the No.1 Kodak camera was the very first camera the company produced and was the first camera to successfully use negative film.

As for what it was capable of, reports indicate it was able to take up to 100 photos, and for buyers to get those photos, they would need to send the camera back to Kodak, where the images were developed, then printed and mailed back to the photographer along with their camera + fresh film. Notably, the camera was only able to take "brilliant instantaneous pictures" in "clear sunlight".

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The extremely old film was digitized and developed, revealing two figures in distinct Victorian or Edwardian clothes. Unfortunately, not much is known about the two individuals in the image, and that's certainly disappointing as it leaves many remaining mysteries, such as who took it, the location, etc. However, the fact that this film has been developed is an achievement in itself as it makes it likely the oldest film ever developed.

"The image appears to be taken, possibly from behind, of two people contemplating a piece of equipment," writes photo enthusiast David Gardner in Photographica World; the journal of the Photographic Collector's Club of Great Britain. "To match Miss Mackenzie's record, I would expect the equipment to be tennis or golf clubs, but the more I look at it the more I think it is a field camera on a tripod."

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