French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce created the first permanent photograph in 1826. The plate is currently located in Austin, Texas.
French painter and chemist Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype process, took the first photograph of a human in early 1839. (The anonymous man in the photo was busy getting his shoes shined.)
French photographer Hippolyte Bayard presented the world’s first public exhibition of photographs in June of 1839.
American photographer Robert Cornelius was the first to produce a photographic portrait of a human when he created a daguerreotype of himself in late 1839.
English photographer William Henry Fox Talbot (who went by Henry) announced his discovery of the calotype process in 1841.
Anna and John
English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins was the first to publish a book illustrated with photographic images in 1843. The images she created using the cyanotype process, invented by English scientist John Herschel in 1842.
American daguerreotypist Thomas Martin Easterly was the first person to take a picture of lightning, in 1847.
French photographer and balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (known as Félix Nadar) took the first aerial photograph (in a tethered balloon, over Paris) in 1858.
Scottish physicist James Maxwell created the first color photo in 1861.
Edward and Sallie
English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (born Edward Muggeridge) used multiple cameras to take a photographs of a galloping horse in June of 1878. The horse’s name was Sallie Gardner. (The jockey was Domm.)
Vermont farmer Wilson Bentley was the first person to photograph a snowflake, in 1885.
American army officer Albert Stevens took the first photograph showing the curve of the Earth in 1930.
American scientist Edwin Land invented the first commercial instant camera in 1947. (He had founded the Polaroid Corporation ten years earlier.)