a buggie photograph

Cheap illumination before LEDs – 1948 LIFE article.

Toronto. Did you ever watch fireflies up at the cottage or in a small town or village at dusk? These little bugs give off a tiny bit of illumination to attract others (mates or food). On Aug 16, 1948, LIFE magazine published an article on an American scientist, Dr Ross Hutchins, who taped a dozen fireflies to the inner rim of an open hole in a board using their light to capture the image of a tiny statuette.

Thanks to Goldie of the Urban Toronto website for suggesting the 1948 LIFE article on using fireflies to illuminate closeups. Hardly practical – exposure took an hour at f/2.5 using film and lenses common about seven decades ago!



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