19-Year-Old Student Hides Spy Camera In His Clothing To Take Secret Street Photos In The 1890s

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Carl Størmer (1872-1957) enjoyed a hobby that was very, very unusual at the time. He walked around Oslo, Norway in the 1890s with his spy camera and secretly took everyday pictures of people. The subjects in Størmer’s pictures appear in their natural state. It extremely differs from the grave and strict posing trends that dominated in photography during those years.


Carl got his C.P. Stirn Concealed Vest Spy Camera in 1893 when he was studying mathematics at the Royal Frederick University (now, University of Oslo). “It was a round flat canister hidden under the vest with the lens sticking out through a buttonhole,” he told St. Hallvard Journal in 1942. “Under my clothes I had a string down through a hole in my trouser pocket, and when I pulled the string the camera took a photo.”

Norway’s first paparazzi usually photographed people at the exact time they were greeting him on the street. “I strolled down Carl Johan, found me a victim, greeted, got a gentle smile and pulled. Six images at a time and then I went home to switch [the] plate.” In total, Størmer took a total of about 500 secret images.

His candid photos aside, Størmer was also fascinated with science. He was a mathematician and physicist, known both for his work in number theory and studying the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

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#1

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Cesi Baca 1 month ago

The cat knows the guy is hiding something lol. Cats defintely have a 6th sense.

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#2

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 month ago

Wow!!! Those clothes are amazing!!! How stylish they are.

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#3

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Aaaa Bbbb 1 month ago

It’s Maisie Williams! Time traveler or immortal being?

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#4

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Tim Chamberlin 1 month ago

no litter on any of the streets in any of these photos!

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#5

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Dara 1 month ago

I loved his smile 😀

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#6

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Bent Sorensen 1 month ago

This is physics professor Kristian Birkeland – the only one of Størmer’s subjects to rumble him. Apparently he got quite cross!

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#7

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

DeadStillPretty 1 month ago

I love the hats on these women. Holy crap, they’re enormous. Replace the background with a promenade deck or something it’s like a scene out of Titanic.

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#8

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Greg Dill 1 month ago

Girl holding a Pygmy Puff.

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#9

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

christina murray 1 month ago

i love this one, i like to think he can see the camera and is tipping his hat to the guy

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#10

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 month ago

love the sleeves!

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