5

This is the first photo ever uploaded to the web, Les Horribles Cernettes: https://gizmodo.com/5924748/heres-the-first-picture-ever-posted-on-the-internet (or it is stated and commonly held to be so)

I've found the date July 18, 1992 associated with this photo in multiple places, but from what I can tell, that's the date the photo was taken, not necessarily the date it was uploaded.

Do we know the exact date the photo was uploaded?

2
  • You're probably right...the Geneva One Hour Photo would have been closed by the time they took all of the pictures on the roll of film, so July 19 at the earliest. – Spencer Oct 12 '17 at 23:12
  • If someone has a backup of the original files (which is conceivable), they probably have timestamps. So in theory it could be discovered. – Gort the Robot Oct 13 '17 at 0:13
13

Probably not, We have first hand evidence from Silvano de Gennaro (the man who uploaded the photo) and this doesn't give an exact date:

Back in 1992, after their show at the CERN Hardronic Festival, my colleague Tim Berners-Lee asked me for a few scanned photos of "the CERN girls" to publish them on some sort of information system he had just invented, called the "World Wide Web". I had only a vague idea of what that was, but I scanned some photos on my Mac and FTPed them to Tim's now famous "info.cern.ch". How was I to know that I was passing an historical milestone, as the one above was the first picture of a band ever to be clicked on in a web browser!"

In fact I've just found this quote in the page for the photo on wikipedia, it appears someone has already asked him directly:

When I asked him about a date for the picture's upload to the web I got the following response:

"I don't think there is actually a date. I gave the photo to Reinard, who was working with Tim in July '91. At the time the web was a prototype, and only a few people were using it. Reinard and the others played with that photo during the development of the software interface to display photos. So it's been on and off the web for a few months, until one day the GIF interface worked fine and the photo stayed on the server and became accessible to the other surfers. I don't know exactly what date that would be, and I doubt anyone does. Another thing is that I believe that interface (XV) was originally only developed for Unix. I know that because I helped develop a similar one for VAX/VMS a few months later. Sorry but that like I said, non of us knew we were making history..

2
  • Wow, how did I miss that quote on Wikipedia of all places? Thanks, that answers my question! – CGriffin Oct 13 '17 at 13:34
  • @CGriffin it's on the file metadata, not the article itself! (I was hoping for some hints, not expecting a perfect answer!) – JeffUK Oct 13 '17 at 15:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.