Here’s Proof Selfies Have Been Popular Since 1839

Flip through a brief history of America's favorite photo trend.

Also in Reader's Digest Magazine July 2014
Robert Cornelius/Getty Images


Philadelphia photographer Robert Cornelius takes one of the first photographic self-portraits.

Anatol Josepho, 1928-30, International Center of Photography, Gift of the Josepho Family, 2008.


Anatol Josepho invents the photo booth, bringing the selfie into the public sphere.

Courtesy AV Archives John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum


Jacqueline Kennedy and then-Senator John F. Kennedy are only two of the booth’s many famous boosters.

Buzz Aldrin/Courtesy Whosay


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin snaps himself on a Gemini XII spacewalk; he claims it was the first space selfie.

Courtesy Jennifer Lee


San Franciscan Jennifer Lee posts the first self-portrait with the #selfie hashtag on Instagram.

Courtesy Lebron James


Selfies snowball, and pet, gym, as demonstrated here by LeBron James, and other themed selfless emerge. 

Ellen DeGernes/AP Photo


As Academy Awards host, Ellen DeGeneres arranges a seemingly spontaneous star-studded selfie, only to have it unmasked a day later as part of a promotion for Samsung.

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