Man develops 120-year-old negatives from time capsule, discovers they’re cat photos

We’re living in a time when everyone has a high-def camera in their pocket at all times and countless social media sites to share their photos on… and there’s no photo subject we love more than our pets.

We love taking pics of our cats and dogs, and we love seeing pictures of our friends’ and family’s pets. Whole Instagram accounts of cute pics have made celebrities out of animals.

But it turns out, this isn’t a new phenomenon—we’ve been capturing our beloved pets on camera for over a century.

That’s what one man discovered when he unearthed a family time capsule, and got an adorable glimpse into his ancestors’ lives.


Photographer Mathieu Stern found something very special in his old family home: a time capsule, which had been sitting in the dark for 120 years.

He opened it, and realized it contained the possessions of a “1900 little girl,” including paper dolls, a coin, a compass and a sea shell.


But most interesting to the photographer, the capsule also contained two two glass plate negatives.

While you can’t exactly get these developed at a 24-hour photo these days, Mathieu was able to develop them himself. He details his process in a YouTube video, using a process called cyanotype.

Eventually, the photos came to life, and he discovered the subject: a cat!


Despite their age, the photos came out clear, bringing a distant past to life. Mathieu realized that of all the things the girl could’ve placed in the time capsule, she chose her cat.

“She wanted her beloved cat not to be forgotten,” Mathieu said in a YouTube video.


He developed the second glass plate, and realized that this, too, was a photo of the cat, along with a small kitten.


Watch the video below:

Some things never change: over a century later we still love photos of cats!

This little girl wanted her cat to be remembered — and while they’re both long gone now, their memory still lives on thanks to these photos.

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