The French philosopher Henri Bergson believed that laughter holds a special place in people’s lives. He described it as a “social gesture” that makes it possible for people in general to deal with the new and unfamiliar. This book presents the birth of photography and its victory march through the nineteenth century from a previously little known perspective: laughter in the new medium. Caricatures, handbills, and satirical cartoons exemplify its gradual acceptance in society. The richly illustrated volume contains original texts and visual material of the time.