Don't take that smartphone camera for granted -- the first photographer to shoot a presidential inauguration had to bring along a darkroom.
Today s inauguration was filled with smartphone snapshots and selfies, but nearly 160 years ago, while the U.S. Capitol was still under construction, the first known photo of a presidential inauguration was taken as James Buchanan was sworn in as the 15th president of the United States.
The photograph, originally shared by Time, was taken on March 4, 1857 — presidential inaugurations were not held on January 20 until 1937.
John Wood used the wet plate process for the image, a technique that, at the time, was only six years old.
Wet plates required the photographer to bring along a mobile darkroom to process the images onsite, but the method was enough of a technological advancement at the time to be behind several first photographs, from landmarks and wars to that 15th presidential inauguration.
Wood, the photographer, was actually working for the Architect of the Capitol.