A Revolutionary War soldier was probably the earliest-born Mainer to ever be photographed.  Maybe even the earliest-born United States' citizen.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Waldoboro's Conrad Heyer was born in 1749, he served in the Revolutionary War, and photographed in 1852 at the ripe old age of 103.

Not only was he the earliest-born Mainer to be photographed, there is a good chance that he was the earliest-born American to ever be photographed.

Heyer was born to German immigrants.  They were part of a group of 1,500 people who were joined Massachusetts land speculator Samuel Waldo.  When the Revoluationary War broke out, Conrad Heyer joined the continental army and was even a part of the group that crossed the Delaware River and fought in the Battle of Trenton with George Washington.  He returned to Maine in 1778 and spent the rest of his life as a farmer.

At the time, photography was still fairly rare, so why did the photographer seek Heyer out?  Most likely because he was one of the few Revolutionary War soldiers still alive.

Currently, the photograph is at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D. C.

If you're a history geek, check out this video about early photography.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app