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​Almanac: Remembering the very first selfie

The early American photographer Robert Cornelius - credited with taking the very first photographic self-portrait in America - was born in Philadelphia 206 years ago today
Almanac: The first selfie 01:30

And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac, March 1, 1809, 206 years ago today ... the day the photographer Robert Cornelius was born in Philadelphia.

An 1839 daguerreotype taken by photographer Robert Cornelius, believed to be the first photographic self-portrait in America. Library of Congress

This picture he took of himself in the fall of 1839 is believed to be the very first photographic self-portrait ever taken in America.

The first ... but hardly the last.

Many a famous photographer ... and any number of famous people, including a 23-year-old Frank Sinatra ... have played with self-portraiture in times since.

But it was with the invention of the cellphone camera that self-photography really took off.

Just about everywhere you go these days, somebody is taking a selfie, a term we are willing to wager Robert Cornelius himself NEVER used.

The selfie Ellen DeGeneres took of herself and friends at last year's Oscars (below) may well be the most-viewed ever.

Further enabling the practice has been the invention of the selfie stick -- "the stick of narcissism," some call it.

In fact, so ubiquitous has the selfie-stick become that many leading museums are now banning it from their galleries.

All of which somehow brings to mind those words from the ancient Book of Ecclesiastes ... "Behold, All is Vanity."

"If only Bradley's arm was longer": The Oscar selfie that "broke Twitter." Ellen DeGeneres
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