In this day and age we take uploading pictures to the internet for granted, after all there are billions of photos now stored online and millions more added daily. The industry thanks to digital cameras and cell phone cameras has become so big that Instagram recently sold for $1 billion after less than two years in business. But where exactly did it the practice of photo uploading start? It turns out the first internet photo was taking in 1992 and features four women from a parody group.
Known as Les Horribles Cernettes the photo was digitally altered using Photoshop and included four ladies who happened to be lab employees working at CERN. Known for its major discoveries over the years CERN was also the place where the World Wide Web project began thanks to the help of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.
Berners-Lee wanted to test a Web system that could support photos and he asked IT developer Silvano de Gennaro to provide an image for that test. De Gennaro eventually chose the edited image of Les Horribles Cernettes. The female parody group were known around CERN for such nerdy song lyrics such as “you say you love me but you never beep me.”
It was only fitting that the first ever internet photo be taken of a group of geeky CERN workers and thus the internet on July 18, 1992 became a place not only for doing business but also for having fun.
Speaking about his picture choice De Gennaro would later admit:
“I didn’t know what the Web was. When history happens, you don’t know that you’re in it.”
Next Wednesday will be the 20th anniversary of the internet’s first picture and now we have live streaming 1080P high-definition video, Skype calls and one zillion pages of porn. Way to go De Gennaro and CERN.
Here is the original photo before it was photoshopped: