Carl Størmer (1872-1957) enjoyed a hobby that was very, very unusual at the time. He walked around Oslo, Norway in the 1890s with his spy camera and secretly took everyday pictures of people. The subjects in Størmer's pictures appear in their natural state. These street photography shots extremely differ from the grave and strict posing trends that dominated photography during those years.

Carl got his C.P. Stirn Concealed Vest spy camera in 1893 when he was studying mathematics at the Royal Frederick University (now, University of Oslo). "It was a round flat canister hidden under the vest with the lens sticking out through a buttonhole," he told St. Hallvard Journal in 1942. "Under my clothes, I had a string down through a hole in my trouser pocket, and when I pulled the string the secret camera took a photo."

Norway's first paparazzi usually photographed people at the exact time they were greeting him on the street. "I strolled down Carl Johan, found me a victim, greeted, got a gentle smile, and pulled. Six images at a time and then I went home to switch [the] plate." In total, Størmer took a total of about 500 of these black and white photos.

His interesting photos aside, Størmer was also fascinated with science. He was a mathematician and physicist, known both for his work in number theory and studying the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

Now scroll down below and check these secret vintage photos of Norway's past for yourself!

spy-camera-secret-street-photography-carl-stormer-norway-159

#1

Street Photography

Carl Størmer Report

Skure
Community Member
3 years ago

Cat figure his camera

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#2

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow!!! Those clothes are amazing!!! How stylish they are.

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#3

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Aaaa Bbbb
Community Member
3 years ago

It's Maisie Williams! Time traveler or immortal being?

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#4

Street Photography

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Tim Chamberlin
Community Member
3 years ago

no litter on any of the streets in any of these photos!

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#5

Street Photography

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Dara
Community Member
3 years ago

I loved his smile :D

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#6

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

First photo ever taken by the paparazzi.

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#7

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DeadStillPretty
Community Member
3 years ago

I love the hats on these women. Holy crap, they're enormous. Replace the background with a promenade deck or something it's like a scene out of Titanic.

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#8

Street Photography

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

Girl holding a Pygmy Puff.

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#9

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

Young Woodrow Wilson.

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#10

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

love the sleeves!

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#11

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

I think she was in an earlier photo

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#12

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

beautiful photo

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#13

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

love these clothes. I wonder if that wooden building is still standing?

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#14

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Tamara Laney
Community Member
3 years ago

Love the parasol--Reminds me of Mary Poppins when she & the kiddos jumped into the chalk drawing to the carousel park!

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#15

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Bobbi Newell
Community Member
3 years ago

*girl on the left* "Oh, hello!" *girl on the right* "He's cute!"

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#16

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

Wow!! What a striking figure she cuts. Would love to have a closer look at what she is holding--is it a purse?

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#17

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Pam Falcioni
Community Member
3 years ago

Looks like they're dressed for some sort of festival.

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#18

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

Teddy's Norwegian cousin.

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#19

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SarahofBorg
Community Member
3 years ago

I could see this being a modern day hipster.

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#20

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DeadStillPretty
Community Member
3 years ago

Ruffles, ruffles everywhere and not a potato chip to eat.

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#21

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Marnee DeRider
Community Member
3 years ago

Why don't we use parasols for shade anymore? I grew up in Minnesota near a large community of Hmong. The older women (and sometimes men) would often carry umbrellas in the summer to keep the sun off. I envied them, because I was a teenager and wouldn't have dared because it wasn't "done". (Nobody even used them in the rain at the time because humans are silly at times.)

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#22

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Jilibi
Community Member
3 years ago

How come, these ladies are so fit?

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#23

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Pam Falcioni
Community Member
3 years ago

Puppy pillow!

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#24

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petil Pling
Community Member
3 years ago

That really looks like Henrik Ibsen! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrik_Ibsen

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#25

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Reza Mobasseri
Community Member
3 years ago

Looks like some boat party!

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#26

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Joy Smith
Community Member
3 years ago

Have you noticed yet? Not one fat lady!

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#27

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Jilibi
Community Member
3 years ago

He is like, please hand me the camera or promise me that you will not post this on facebook.

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#28

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Debbie Andersson
Community Member
3 years ago

The whole city looks so pretty, why aren´t we today, with our machines, building this pretty buildings anymore? Would be way easier today then it was then.

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#29

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

Olga, Lida, and ThunderCrotch.

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#30

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Priscilla Winslow
Community Member
3 years ago

There's life on Mars!

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#31

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Priscilla Winslow
Community Member
3 years ago

I had no idea that the genders could mix in 19th century Norway.

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#32

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Mary DeLashmit
Community Member
3 years ago

Once again, the cat lady!

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#33

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

Notice the sea turtle emerging from the sidewalk?

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#34

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

"Good Godin, Danika! This man is following us with his GoPro on."

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#35

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Jilibi
Community Member
3 years ago

Look justin beiber is here, forget him! I am watching ufo landing.

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#36

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Robin Collins
Community Member
3 years ago

Lena, I'm still not sure this is best way to escape the police..... Shut up Ollie and sway your hips more.

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#37

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Karina Edwards
Community Member
3 years ago

shoulder bags, the precursor to shoulder pads

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#38

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Reza Mobasseri
Community Member
3 years ago

Another sausage fest

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#39

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Marnee DeRider
Community Member
3 years ago

Anyone else notice how generally slim they all are?

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#40

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Pam Falcioni
Community Member
3 years ago

I can't even imagine what a hassle it would have been to deal with a hat like that on a windy day.

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#41

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Jilibi
Community Member
3 years ago

Dame these people taste good.

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#42

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

Where the Parker Bros got their idea for Sorry! game pieces.

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#43

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Jilibi
Community Member
3 years ago

Wanna see and record a hat trick. I bet it will be trending one day on youtube.

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#44

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Barb Dailey
Community Member
3 years ago

Someone lose their hat on the ground?

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#45

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GalaxyInAJar
Community Member
3 years ago

She's so done with your "no one can see the camera" charade

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#46

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Jilibi
Community Member
3 years ago

He is holding a knife and is about to kidnap the camera.

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#47

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

A policeman walking his invisible K-9 unit.

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#48

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Pam Falcioni
Community Member
3 years ago

Those hats are crazy!

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#49

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Karina Edwards
Community Member
3 years ago

"And stay off my lawn you pesky kids!"

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#50

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Margus Kiis
Community Member
3 years ago

Ibsen.

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#51

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Karina Edwards
Community Member
3 years ago

People must have had buff arms in those days from all the hat tipping

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#52

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Marnee DeRider
Community Member
3 years ago

I always pictured that most Norwegians were blond, but from these pictures, they look like most have brown hair. Might be it's just hard to tell in the b/w photos. Or, more likely, it's one more stereotype I need to delete from my files.

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#53

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Ellen Oldenburg
Community Member
3 years ago

Baby spotted the camera. Big smiles.

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#54

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Karina Edwards
Community Member
3 years ago

They had no idea the camera was there, they're just staging an intervention

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#55

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Lars Thulin
Community Member
3 years ago

Oh dear, yet another time traveller with a cell phone caught on camera.

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#56

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Eric
Community Member
3 years ago

Richard Simmons when he was a wee lad.

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#57

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Robin Collins
Community Member
3 years ago

I wonder if he likes older women.

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#58

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Melody
Community Member
3 years ago

They know everybody around town

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#59

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Karina Edwards
Community Member
3 years ago

Octopus attack hat

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#60

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Karina Edwards
Community Member
3 years ago

Like a boss

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#61

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Greg Dill
Community Member
3 years ago

Actor David Schwimmer's distant Norwegian great-great grandfather.

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#62

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Priscilla Winslow
Community Member
3 years ago

Suddenly... there he was!

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#63

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Margus Kiis
Community Member
3 years ago

Ibsen again.

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#64

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Harvey Johnson
Community Member
3 years ago

Apparently they didn't have spur of the moment quickies in those days. Too many clothes

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#65

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Priscilla Winslow
Community Member
3 years ago

Graduation day.

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#66

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
3 years ago

this must be an important or signifcant building...I've seen it in two other shots

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#67

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Connie Martin
Community Member
3 years ago

"So I says to the Missus, I says...Say, are you listening?"

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