How do you take selfies when there are too many people, and nobody is tall enough to fit everyone in the frame? Have you faced that struggle of seeing just half of your face in a photo because your silly friend just doesn’t know how to take a selfie? Well then, use a selfie stick. YES! That obnoxiously long stick that gets attached to your phone and lets you take selfies and photos from different angles and does not leave out the photographer. Let us get started with the history of selfie sticks.
In 1925, Arnold Hogg, a pianist and entertainer from Rugby, England, used a makeshift selfie stick to click a picture of himself and his wife. While we do not know exactly how the photograph was taken, most people count it as the first use of a selfie stick.
Image: The first ‘makeshift selfie stick’ , Image source:bgr.in
In 1969, we see the first ‘use’ of the selfie stick in a Czechoslovak film titled ‘I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen’. In this sci-fi film, the characters take a selfie using a stick that extends like a selfie stick and prints out what looks like a polaroid. Cute or odd? Not sure.
In 1984, Japanese inventors Hiroshi Ueda and Yujiro Mima filed for a patent, for what was then called a ‘telescopic extender for supporting compact camera’ or an ‘extender stick’. This device held the camera in a place using a tripod and had a mirror attached to it. The stick was a need of the hour for the inventor because he had difficulty taking pictures with his family on trips… aww!
In 1995, the invention featured in a book called ‘101 Un-useless Japanese Inventions’. This book features chindogu, which are things or inventions that are kind of useless, but not so useless, like an umbrella tie, or a baby mop, in which a baby wears a mop and ends up cleaning the floor. Not child labour, I think?
Image: 101 Un-useless Japanese Inventions , Image source:goodreads.com
In 2003, the patent for Ueda’s invention ran out and sadly his invention did not do as well as it should have. In 2005, Wayne Fromm, a Canadian inventor, filed for a patent, for an ‘apparatus for supporting a camera, and method for using the apparatus’, or as he called it, a ‘Quik Pod’. This was a handheld extendable stick that could be attached to phones and cameras for the purpose of clicking pictures.
In 2012, Yeong-Ming Wang patented a multi-axis selfie device that could hold a smartphone. The year 2013 saw a large boom in the sale of these selfie sticks and many companies openly copied the designs of the patented inventors.
In 2014, the term ‘selfie stick’ became popular and Time Magazine declared this invention as one of the best inventions of 2014. By now, you could get a bedazzled one, or one that could hold your laptop. I don’t see how that helps. Currently, the device enjoys an infamous reputation. Banned from many places like museums, stadiums, concerts, etc., the stick is scorned by many. Those who protest the ban clearly haven’t been hit by one in the face.
Well, that’s it in this edition of ‘The Story behind’. Selfie sticks are a rage and apparently fun to take photos with? We all either love them, hate, love to hate them or hate to love them; you get the drift. So guys, it’s ok to keep taking selfies, as long as you’re safe and don’t whack someone in the face with a selfie stick.
Is there any other invention or creation that you would like to read of? Do write to us!