1848 Panoramic Photo on display at Cincinnati Library - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

TIMELINE: First photo of Cincinnati


If you want to see how urban America looked in 1848, now may be your only chance to do so.

The oldest surviving photo of urban America is on display at the Cincinnati Library.

The photo was taken 165 years ago by Charles Fontayne and William Porter. It is the oldest wide view photograph of an American city and is returning to permanent display after more than a half century out of the public eye.

The photo gives a snapshot of what life was like in the 19th Century. Viewers will discover something new each time they look at the photo.

After viewers take a look at the original photo, they can get an even clearer experience with the help of modern technology. An interactive 21st century photo is available to the public depicting incredible detail.

It is a lesson in history, literally, at your fingertips.

"Some people refer to it as the Mona Lisa of photography,"said Patricia Van Skaik, Manager of the Genealogy and Local History Collection at the Public Library. "Not just because it is the oldest but because of it's artistry and clarity. It's really surpassed by none."

The photo was taken where Newport Aquarium is today.

The photo can be found in the Hamilton County Public Library on the third floor in the Cincinnati room.

To see the entry on the FOX19 Facebook Timeline, click here.

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