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1890s Photographer Hides Camera In His Coat & The Results Are Astounding!

Left image shows Henrik Ibsen. Right image shows an unidentified woman walking with a parasol.

Fredrick Carl Mülertz Stormer was a mathematician and astrophysicist from Norway. Today, we celebrate his hobby as an amateur photographer. When Stormer was in his 70s, he organized a photo exhibition in Oslo. The display included celebrity photographs and candid images he had captured on the streets of Oslo. His favorite subjects were women and celebrities, such as Henrik Ibsen.

Left image shows two women conversing on the streets of Oslo, Norway. Right image is a candid shot of Henrik Ibsen taking a stroll. Both images were taken by amateur photographer Fredrick Carl Stormer.
Image from TikTok.

The photographer’s subjects were often unaware that Stormer photographed them. Stormer hid a small, handheld camera in his coat, with the lens peeking through a buttonhole. In this manner, the young man was able to capture smiling images of people doing ordinary things. In 1890, most photographs were “events” requiring painstaking planning. Most images from that era contained stoic, non-smiling faces, while Stormer’s images showed people enjoying life.

Left image shows two men talking. Right image shows a smiling man carrying a folding umbrella walking down the street. Both images were taken by amateur photographer Fredrick Carl Stormer.
Image from TikTok.

Stormer captured a more “real” picture of life by showing people during normal daily routines. There is an incredible slide show of some of these prolific images on TikTok and a limited selection on Tumbler. His photographic skills give us insight into life in Oslo.

Left image shows two women walking, one with a parasol. Right image shows a woman walking with a parasol. Both images were taken by amateur photographer Fredrick Carl Stormer.
Image from TikTok.

The Aurora Borealis fascinated Fredrick Carl Stormer. He studied the phenomenon by taking photos from several observatories throughout Norway. His research is documented in two books: From the Depths of Space to the Heart of the Atom and The Polar Aurora. Stormer is still “the acknowledged authority” on aurorae.

Despite his scientific achievements, the name Fredrick Carl Stormer is unknown outside of astronomy texts. Perhaps he will become known for his sneaky and innovative approach to street photography. His work as an amateur photographer gives us a unique view of the past. Please share this if you enjoyed this interesting look into the streets of 1890s Oslo.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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