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The 18th century version of Instagram

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 20, 2012

Popular in the 18th century, the Claude glass was a mirror that took the scene behind you and transformed it into something different, much like the filters in Instagram or Hipstamatic promise to do.

Claude glass

The Claude glass was a sort of early pocket lens without the camera and it was held aloft to observe a vista over one’s shoulder. The technology was simple: A blackened mirror reduced the tonal values of its reflected landscape, and a slightly convex shape pushed more scenery into a single focal point, reducing a larger vista into a tidy snapshot.

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