For its 40th anniversary, ‘Now & Then’ celebrates the dawn of images

THIS SUNDAY, “Now & Then” blows out 40 candles, celebrating the nation’s (if not the world’s) longest-working column committed to repeat pictures. 

It all began on Jan. 17, 1982, when column founder Paul Dorpat published his initially comparison, an exuberant parade alongside Fourth Avenue welcoming dwelling World War I artillery soldiers in 1919. 

After much more than 2,000 columns and four many years, we assume it is apropos to specific belated gratitude for a 184-yr-aged gift. 

The tale begins in 1838, when artist and inventor Louis Daguerre positioned a boxy system in the window of his Paris studio to seize the dance of light and shadow on the active street under. For at minimum 4 minutes, he uncovered the plate and instantly obtained a fistful of firsts: 

● The very first photo of a town. 
● The 1st portrayal of persons in a cityscape. 
● The very first shoeshine caught on digital camera. 

At first glance, the Boulevard du Temple in central Paris looks curiously devoid of men and women, conserve for one particular gent standing fairly nevertheless and getting his sneakers polished on the sidewalk. The a lot of hundreds of passersby were assuredly relocating way too swiftly to be snared by the extensive exposure. 

The extensive row of four- and 5-story buildings housed many nicely-attended theaters. Parisians nicknamed it the Boulevard du Criminal offense right after the immensely preferred vice melodramas they offered. 

Paris, nonetheless, was on the verge of a single of the finest transformations in its very long historical past. In 1852, a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte grandly proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III and envisioned a capital suited for a French empire. 

The slim, medieval streets and alleys, beloved by a lot of Parisians, have been to be widened and straightened. Overall neighborhoods would be leveled though parks, grand avenues, plazas and vast general public-is effective initiatives would be added. Beginning in 1853 and for decades to appear, the Metropolis of Light turned a building zone. 

The Boulevard du Crime, alongside with most of its theaters, was demolished in 1862, to the dismay of dramatic audiences, and replaced by the expanded plaza now recognized as Location de la République. 

Today’s square is a well-liked gathering location for Parisians younger and aged. It has hosted activities from concert events to mass demonstrations. A bronze statue of Marianne, image of the French Republic, stands at its middle, surrounded by figures symbolizing Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. 

Legal rights to Daguerre’s revolutionary invention, the daguerreotype procedure, have been acquired by the French govt in 1839 and offered unconditionally as a present to humanity. In just months, daguerreotype cameras had distribute through the entire world, recording visuals that we treasure — and, of course, repeat.