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Current News             Issue Archive             Article Archive E-Photo Newsletter   Issue 191   4/1/2012   (All Articles)

 

Major Discovery About Early Photo Pioneers Made At Bibliothéque Nationale

Edited by Dee Vellops and written by Robert "Tweety Bird" Yoskowitz

(Editor's Note: Photo-histerian Robert Yoskowitz wrote the following article for us about his recent major discovery in Paris. Most other observers just thought he was sampling too much absinthe.)

While I was in the Bibliothéque Nationale scribbling my latest tome "Baguettes: a Socialist Plague", I came across historical material that will change the course of communication history. Within the newly discovered stack of brittle papers that were wedged in a volume of Sartre's "Being and Nothingness, Whatever", was information that could change the course of history. These dusty documents revealed an historical dispute between the first giants of photography (both well over four feet tall). They were the Englishmen William Henry Fox Talbot and the Frenchman J.L.M. Daguerre, and the quarrel was over who invented the first "tweet".

The claim of Talbot being first came from his notes of July 23, 1839; "Whilst futzing around with my photographica, I had the desire to send a message to my chum Nick Henneman in the most minimal of manner. I picked up my Blackened Berry and--how should I say--"Tweet," like those little bastard starlings outside of my loo window to my dear assistant Henneman. I tweeted thee (or is it thou?): "I thnk will prt hair in a difrnt way. T served. BFF."

In the "London Times" the next day, Talbot read that Daguerre had tweeted ("La bon tweet") just three days earlier to Niepce (which amounted to folly since Niepce was quite morte at that point) tweeting: "Early rise. I thnk prt hair in opp way. SVP."

Daguerre would later read in "Le Monde" that Talbot was suing the French photographer for "Infringement on copyrights and hair direction," to which Daguerre replied "Merde! Screw polishing these silver plates, la tweet is the new form of communication for all! And where is my comb?"

Three weeks later, Daguerre tweeted a challenge to Talbot to a duel, settling the dispute once and for all: "Cme to Par du Car. Brng pist. + Brioches." Fortunately, the duel never took place due to Talbot's strict Calvinist upbringing of never breaking a previous appointment. In this instance it was with his barber.