In art, fashion, and eccentric hairstyles, the arrival of the first giraffe in France in the 1820s caused a sensation in culture.
The First Printed Illustration of a Modern Dissection
Published in the late 15th century, the Fasciculus Medicinae contains the earliest depiction of a modern dissection, a groundbreaking representation for anatomy.
The First Sculptures of Dinosaurs
In 1854, the first sculptures of dinosaurs debuted in London’s Crystal Palace Park, where they remain on view today and recall an age of Victorian science.
The First Photographs of a Solar Eclipse
Photographers have attempted to document the solar eclipse since 1842, but it took years of experimentation to capture the elusive moment of totality.
In 1902, Audiences Turned Up Their Noses at the First Perfume Concert
On a New York stage, a poet and art critic named Sadakichi Hartmann attempted the first perfume concert, and it was a disaster.
Alice Guy-Blaché, the First Woman Filmmaker
Alice Guy-Blaché is recognized as the first woman filmmaker, going back to an 1896 silent short, but her career remains unsung in the history of cinema.
“I Have Seen My Death”: The First X-Ray Photograph
In December of 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen revealed the bones of his wife’s hand in the first X-ray photograph.
Egyptian Blue: The First Synthetic Pigment
The first human-made blue pigment emerged in ancient Egypt, then disappeared for centuries until it was rediscovered in Pompeii.
The First Known Depiction of the Cosmos Adorns a 3,600-Year-Old Disk
Discovered in 1999 in Germany, the 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disk is recognized as the oldest known depiction of cosmic phenomena.
The First Known Printed Bookplate
Dating to 1480, the oldest known printed bookplate is part of a centuries-long history of personalization by book lovers.
The First Known Photograph of the White House
A Welsh immigrant named John Plumbe, Jr., who was one of the country’s first prominent professional photographers, took the daguerreotype in January 1846.
The First Photographs of Snowflakes
In 1885, Wilson Bentley, a farmer in Vermont, became the first known person to photograph a snowflake. He would document 5,000 of them in his lifetime.