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The first photo ever taken of the inauguration of a U.S. President

The first known photograph of a Presidential Inauguration on March 4, 1857 (John Wood) The first known photograph of a Presidential Inauguration on March 4, 1857 (John Wood)

Witnesses to Donald Trump's inauguration in Washington, D.C. will snap countless photographs, many on their cell phones. 

In 1857, John Wood broke new ground by capturing a single, four-second exposure of James Buchanan's rise to power.

The story is briefly described on the Library of Congress website. 

"Montgomery C. Meigs, the Supervisory Engineer of the Capitol expansion, pasted the first-known photograph of an inauguration beside his journal entry for March 4, 1857," according to the site.

Meigs said Wood, "experimented with the photographic process" in anticipation of documenting Buchanan's inauguration."

"Mr. Wood has been trying some photography process of great speed for the purpose of taking a view of the inauguration," Meigs wrote.  "He made a view of the front of the Capitol in which the figures are, many of them, quite distinct."

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