marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

of kings and thieves

Photography made a bigger difference in society than most people realize.

Take kings and other royals. . .

used to be that they could actually do that "wander among the people anonymously" thing rather easily. Who, after all, among the commoners would have more than a glimpse of any of them, generally from a distance and all done up with furs and gold? (Which means, actually, that the more pomp and circumstance your court had, the more easily you could do it.)

And thieves. It's not just communications increasing distance that made it easier to catch them. Once you can transmit a photograph rather than a vague description, it's a lot easier to be certain you have the right man. A lot of imposter tricks became a lot harder once you had a photograph. Such as hiring someone else to flunk your draft physical because he's of medium height and brown-haired.

Not to mention the innocent. Though not all consequences went away. One reason why sailors went in big for tattoos was that they were distinctive identifying marks. But the presence of photographs has not meant the end of tattooing.
Tags: travel, world-building: royalty, world-building: technology
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