Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds Industrial Museum exhibits 136-year-old 'selfie'

Washington Teasdale at Kirkstall Abbey Image copyright Leeds City Council
Image caption In 1883, Washington Teasdale took a photograph of himself at Kirkstall Abbey

A 136-year-old photograph, described as one of the first "selfies," has gone on display at Leeds Industrial Museum.

In 1883, astronomer and inventor Washington Teasdale photographed himself at Kirkstall Abbey in the city.

His picture is one of the earliest examples of someone both taking and appearing in a photograph, a spokesperson for the city council said.

The image is on display as part of an exhibition celebrating the history of inventors in the city.

Leeds City Council, which runs the museum, said it was taken "more than 130 years before Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber were breaking the internet".

Image copyright Leeds City Council
Image caption Washington Teasdale chaired the Leeds Astronomical Society and pushed to recruit more female members

Mr Teasdale took the photograph using a method called cyanotype, which is still used today to create architectural blueprints.

A member of The Naturalist Society, Mr Teasdale invented his own field microscope to study insects and pushed the boundaries of photography by capturing detailed images of the moon through his telescope.

Chris Sharp, from the museum, said: "Washington Teasdale had a truly remarkable mind and seemed capable of reaching astonishing heights of inventiveness and ingenuity in whatever field he brought his prodigious intellect to bear on."

The exhibition features the achievements of the city's scientists, engineers and top minds including the man who accidentally created jelly tots.

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites