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This Mainer may be the earliest-born person to ever be photographed

Photography didn’t become commonplace until the 1840s, which means there aren’t very many photographs of people born before the 1770s. One of the surviving portraits before that time, however, is of a man from Maine who served in the Revolutionary War and reportedly lived into his 100s. He may be the earliest-born person to have ever been photographed.

Conrad Heyer, born in Waldoboro in 1749, was photographed in 1852 at the whopping age of 103. The image — a daguerreotype, the earliest widely available form of photography — is believed to be the earliest-born American to be photographed alive, though some historians dispute that. It also may be that Heyer was not only the earliest-born American — he may be the earliest born person, period, as other photographs of earlier-born people have yet to be discovered.

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