The earliest known photographs of 15 great cities across the world.


Photograph of Paris in 1839 was made by Louis Daguerre on the boulevard du Temple. There is a shoe shiner in the left-hand corner. This is one of the oldest photographs, where people are depicted.
Today photographers travel around the world, making the photographs in the beloved cities. However, there was a time, when photographs of city centres were a rarity. With the invention of photography in the 19th century for the first it became possible to depict the surrounding landscapes.
French photographer Louis Daguerre improved the daguerreotype process. The process required printing images on the copper plate covered with silver and a long exposition. That is why the early photographs of town show the landscapes and lack a human presence. Rare people, caught in a photograph, could negatively affect the final image.
The photographs of famous cities is a visual evidence of a city’s landscape change. Many of these are almost unrecognisable in comparison with a modern reality. Such modern metropolises, like Los Angeles and New York are filled with agricultural lands, while in the photograph of Bombay wide and spacious roads are seen, which do not look like the modern Mumbai.


This photograph of Los Angeles was made around 1860. In the bottom-side of the photograph one can see Plaza Church, which was build in 1822. This is almost the only object, which was kept by now.


Showing Parliament Street from Trafalgar Square, this early photograph of London was made in 1839.


French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault took this photograph of Jerusalem in 1844. An early travel photographer made a trip to the Middle East, Italy, and eastern Mediterranean from 1841 to 1844, shooting more than 900 photographs during the journey.


Approximately in 1866 an Italian-British photographer Felice Beato took this panoramic picture of Edo, now Tokyo. Taken from the hill in Atagoyama hill, it gives a wide perspective of a city, which has significantly changed due to natural disasters and a war.


An Upper West Side of Manhattan looks now not the way it is used to be, as seen on the daguerreotype made in 1848. In a picture, which was offered at the auction several years ago for 62 500 USD, is shown a farmhouse on a hill with a road, which now is situated on Broadway.