The web's first ever photo, edited in Photoshop, version one.Silvano de Gennaro
The original photo. From left: Angela Higney, Michele de Gennaro, Colette Marx-Neilsen, Lynn Veronneau.Silvano de Gennaro
Upon first glance, it looks like any other poorly Photoshopped pic posted on Facebook, but this is no ordinary snapshot.
Uploaded nearly twenty years ago, it’s actually the first photograph ever uploaded to the World Wide Web, according to Motherboard, which tracked down the photo’s wild and crazy past. “When history happens, you don’t know that you’re in it,” Silvano de Gennaro, who snapped the shot, told Motherboard.
- Jean-François Groff, a programmer on the Web project
The pretty ladies in the image are members of a parody band comprised of CERN laboratory employees -- yes, the same lab in Geneva responsible for the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson. Adoringly known as Les Horribles Cernettes (The Horrible CERN Girls), the group shares its initials with a certain particle accelerator.
It just so happens that Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web was working at CERN at the time. When Berners-Lee and his team were looking to test a new version of their “Web” system -- one that supported photos -- he went to de Gennaro, who passed along the now historic photo.
“In order to convince management that we should connect CERN to the Internet and not just to proprietary networks, we had to fight to convince them how useful it would be,” Jean-François Groff, one of the programmers working on the project, told Motherboard.
“That’s why we only put serious stuff on it. So it was kind of a revolution to say, ‘Now let’s do something fun with it.’”