Certainly the oldest media (after paper!) we have created ourselves – is the humble black and white photographic negative (as early as glass plate, or box-brownie 120 film or 2.25 square).
In fact this is the easiest old media to digitize given the widespread accessibility to quality scanners. Although a camera, with a Macro function, aimed at a back-lit negative can produce very good results – Scans are then inverted and manipulated in photo-shop.
It was never our intention to cover this media, however how can we possibly ignore it? It is incorporated into historical documentaries as probably the only remaining visual imagery. And the moving picture version as used in the days of Charlie Chaplin movies has clearly survived the ages and can be brought up-to-date in added-value environments such as the Charlie Chaplin Museum above Vevey.
Our own examples based on historical b&w negatives:
1. Check out our 1963-2018 “Time Warp” post — b&w negatives creatively incorporated.
2. Another technical post is in preparation on yet more self-built devices showing the original construction photographs and the results as they are today (in progress).
3. Looking back even further will be a post on ‘Meccano’ construction of more than six decades ago and use of the same parts as they are today (in progress).