The Horse’s Ass

We are accustomed to photographs within rectangular frames. The first camera made specifically for amateur photographers in 1888 was designed to produce circular images. The camera was the KODAK #1 and it came loaded with a forerunner of roll film sufficient to make 100 exposures. The camera’s lens projected a wide field, showing nearly everything sharply, unless the photographer shook the camera during exposure.

And that is why the horse’s rump and the building appear equally sharp in this image. The view of a horse from the seat of carriage is new to us who travel in cars. In the late nineteenth century it was the way people saw the world when riding in a horse-drawn wagon.

The building in the background startles with its modernity. It could be a structure from a Star Wars set. It reminds us that we are not the only people to see rapid change in our times—the same happened during the end of the nineteenth century when new architecture and new inventions altered people’s lives.