Is this one of the world's first selfies?


A photo discovered by a Whitehaven man at the back of an old family album features in a new book of classic images.

It's believed to be one of the world's first 'selfies' and was taken in 1926 by Arnold Hogg.

His grandson, Alan Cleaver, of Church Street, Whitehaven, shared the picture on Facebook and brought it to wider attention.

It's now been featured in 1001 Photographs You Must See Before You Die by award-winning photo editor Paul Lowe.

Alan, 58, said: "My grandfather died in 1972 but would have been chuffed the recognition his humorous snap has received – though I suspect his wife, Helen, would have been less pleased!

"Our family always liked the picture and when 'selfies' started to come into fashion I shared it on Facebook.

It was picked up by news organisations and went viral. Now Arnold's enterprising selfie has put it in the top 1001 photos in the world."

Alan knows little about how or why the picture was taken.

It would have been taken in his back garden in Rugby just after he was married - he is pictured with wife, Helen.

Arnold clearly uses a stick to take the photo - some 60 years before the invention of the selfie stick.

"If only he had realised what he was on to and marketed his selfie stick," joked Alan who says that his grandfather was always a man of great humour.

The photo then lay hidden in the family album until Alan resurrected it for the digital age.

The book's author writes: "It's a wonderful example of how a device assumed to be a modern invention may have a much longer history than anyone would have suspected."

1001 Photographs You Must See Before You Die by Paul Lowe is published by Cassell, price £20.

We asked Alan and his partner Lesley to recreate the image and we'd love to see your versions of it!

Email them to and mark the subject line Selfies

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