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. It extremely differs from the grave and strict posing trends that dominated in 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 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 secret images.

His candid 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).

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

#1

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Cesi Baca 1 year ago

The cat knows the guy is hiding something lol. Cats defintely have a 6th sense.

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#2

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Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

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

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Aaaa Bbbb 1 year ago

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

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#4

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Tim Chamberlin 1 year ago

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

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#5

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Dara 1 year ago

I loved his smile :D

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Bent Sorensen 1 year ago

This is physics professor Kristian Birkeland - the only one of Størmer's subjects to rumble him. Apparently he got quite cross!

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DeadStillPretty 1 year 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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Greg Dill 1 year ago

Girl holding a Pygmy Puff.

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christina murray 1 year ago

i love this one, i like to think he can see the camera and is tipping his hat to the guy

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#10

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Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

love the sleeves!

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#11

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Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

I think she was in an earlier photo

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Marnee DeRider 1 year ago

The cats haven't changed one bit.

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#13

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Bent Sorensen 1 year ago

It may be Frognerseteren, above Holmenkollen...

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Barb Dailey 1 year ago

This is lovely.

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Bobbi Newell 1 year ago

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

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Agnes Jekyll 1 year 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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Elise McFarland 1 year ago

Wearing bunad!

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#18

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Greg Dill 1 year ago

Teddy's Norwegian cousin.

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#19

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SarahofBorg 1 year ago

I could see this being a modern day hipster.

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DeadStillPretty 1 year ago

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

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Marnee DeRider 1 year 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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Diana Cooper 1 year ago

Good Scandinavian diet. Few processed foods, not a lot of fat and no junk food!

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#23

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Gillian Black 1 year ago

still a great photo

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petil Pling 1 year ago

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

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The Cappy 1 year ago

Before the invention of casual clothes.

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Richard Trombly 1 year ago

cause they were all trussed up like a Christmas goose

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Jilibi 1 year ago

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

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Debbie Andersson 1 year 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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Greg Dill 1 year ago

Olga, Lida, and ThunderCrotch.

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Priscilla Winslow 1 year ago

There's life on Mars!

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Wendy Kovin 1 year ago

All of the people in these photos are attractive. Is it the clothes?

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#32

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Mary DeLashmit 1 year ago

Once again, the cat lady!

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#33

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Greg Dill 1 year ago

Notice the sea turtle emerging from the sidewalk?

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#34

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Greg Dill 1 year ago

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

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Jilibi 1 year ago

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

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#36

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Robin Collins 1 year 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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Reza Mobasseri 1 year ago

Is that a suit jacket over a dress in the background?!

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#38

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Bethany Lambert 1 year ago

there is a woman in the center

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#39

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Marnee DeRider 1 year ago

Anyone else notice how generally slim they all are?

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Pam Falcioni 1 year 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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Tamara Laney 1 year ago

"I thought you said your dog doesn't bite?!!" "Yes, but that's not my dog." <---one of my favorite Inspector Clouseau (Pink Panther) jokes.

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Greg Dill 1 year ago

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

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#43

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Jilibi 1 year 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 1 year ago

Someone lose their hat on the ground?

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#45

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GalaxyInAJar 1 year ago

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

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#46

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Reza Mobasseri 1 year ago

Is that Jorne Van Fickelpikel?!

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#47

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Greg Dill 1 year ago

A policeman walking his invisible K-9 unit.

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#48

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Pam Falcioni 1 year ago

Those hats are crazy!

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#49

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Karina Edwards 1 year ago

"And stay off my lawn you pesky kids!"

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#50

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Margus Kiis 1 year ago

Ibsen.

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#51

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Karina Edwards 1 year ago

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

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Marnee DeRider 1 year 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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Greg Dill 1 year ago

Baby Vin Diesel.

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#54

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Margus Kiis 1 year ago

Posing!

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#55

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Lars Thulin 1 year ago

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

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#56

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Eric 1 year ago

Richard Simmons when he was a wee lad.

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#57

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Robin Collins 1 year ago

I wonder if he likes older women.

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#58

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M.J. J. 1 year ago

It'd be very rude not to greet people on the sidewalks back then...

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#59

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Karina Edwards 1 year ago

Octopus attack hat

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#60

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M.J. J. 1 year ago

No cones, flashing lights etc.,to warn pedestrians of ladders on sidewalks!

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#61

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Greg Dill 1 year ago

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

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#62

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Ged Maybury 1 year ago

Partial double exposure. The cranking mechanism glitched out. Still: extraordinarily good photos for their time!

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#63

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Margus Kiis 1 year ago

Ibsen again.

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Harvey Johnson 1 year 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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Ged Maybury 1 year ago

Girl-Scouts? The hats, especially. Very practical clothes compared to some of the city scenes.

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Yvonne Torburn-Clark 1 year ago

Those sleeves must take up to 2 yards of fabric!

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#67

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Connie Martin 1 year ago

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

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#68

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Louise Jury 1 year ago

Such a different world than today.

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#69

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Ged Maybury 1 year ago

Power-dressing of the era. Or else they're time travelers who read the wrong brochure before arriving.

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Priscilla Winslow 1 year ago

a scene out of Popeye.

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Priscilla Winslow 1 year ago

Don't look at him... don't look at him...

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Yvonne Torburn-Clark 1 year ago

Yup, looks political.

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#73

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Lorenzo Zerial 1 year ago

In Norway those days there were many nationalistic rallies until 1905 when independence from Sweden was gained.

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Robin Collins 1 year ago

Just trying to find brides for the other 5 brothers.

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Priscilla Winslow 1 year ago

I have a strong feeling that she's about to walk into a tree.

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Melody 1 year ago

Now, that's really funny!

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