First digital image
We couldn’t talk about the history of the oldest known photographs and not highlight our more modern photographical feats. While not the same as some of the other “oldest” photos, this marked the dawning of a new photography age: digital images. Russell A. Kirsch is credited as the man who produced the first digital image in 1957. While working at the National Bureau of Standards, Kirsch and his team developed a digital image scanner. The first image scanned was of a photo of Kirsch’s three month old son, captured at one bit per pixel. It’s considered to be one of the 100 photographs that changed the world.
Kirsch and his colleagues at NBS, who had developed the nation’s first programmable computer, the Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC), created a rotating drum scanner and programming that allowed images to be fed into it. The first image scanned was a head-and-shoulders shot of Kirsch’s three-month-old son Walden. This was the first step into digitizing the art of photography.