Picture this: Amazing early photography

Neatorama had a ginormous post yesterday about the origins of photography. We've pulled some of our favorite facts (that's the world's first photomontage, above), but trust us, the whole article is a great read!

  • In 1760, long before photography was invented, author Charles-François Tiphaigne de la Roche wrote a story about "a race of secret supermen in an imaginary wonderland who could fix a reflected image onto a canvas coated with a sticky substance."
  • The French government bought Louis Daguerre's patent for the daguerrotype in 1839, presenting it as "a gift free to the world." Alas, the "free" and "the world" parts weren't exactly accurate: Daguerre had already obtained corresponding patents abroad.
  • The same year, Sir John Frederick William Herschel coined the word "photography." He would also go on to coin "snapshot," as well as "negative" and "positive" as they apply to photos. Scientific acumen ran in the Herschel family; his dad, Sir Frederick William Herschel, discovered the planet (last we checked) Uranus.
  • The photo below, which Edward Steichen took in Long Island in 1904, recently sold at auction for $2.9 million, making it the world's most expensive photograph.


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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead

Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]


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