Einstein sticks his tongue out


A celebration was being held on the night of March 14 1951 at the Princeton Club by friends and colleagues of Dr. Einstein. It was the latter’s 72nd birthday. Photographers from all over the United States were there to cover the event much to the chagrin of unassuming professor.

Dr Frank Aydelotte, the former head of the Institute for Advanced Study, and his wife offered to drive Einstein home to 112 Mercer Street. As he entered the auto, the cameramen rushed to make ‘just one more’ picture. UPI photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade him to smile for the camera, but having smiled for photographers many times that day, visibly tired Dr. Einstein stuck out his tongue instead. He made the iconic shot, but the other photographers surrounding the car missed it.

The appropriateness of the photo was heavily debated by Sasse’s editors before being published on International News Photos Network. It became one of the most popular photos ever taken of Einstein, who himself requested nine prints for his personal use. The original image included the faces of Dr. and Mrs. Aydelotte in the car, but it was cropped by Einstein himself, who liked it so much that he sent his friends greeting cards decorated with the image. It was emblematic of a man who wore his hair long, a funny leather jacket, no socks, no suspenders, no collar, no tie.

28 thoughts on “Einstein sticks his tongue out

  1. i have no idea why nobody has commented in a while on funny potato and now, nobody is commenting here. speaking of that, alot of people make comments on youtube. we all know that. when i watched never released windows versions part 3, i saw after windows xp themed edition, i saw windows xp e=mc2 edition, and at the top right, i saw the famus toungue image of alber einstein from 1971. and my belly jumped completley. so i was like in my head,”i will never see that pivture again. but then my dad showed me einstein tounge and my whole body jumped, but when i kept looking at the picture, i got usede to it. and now, i am not afraid anymore. that’s all i have to say for now.

  2. […] Vocês sabem a história dessa foto do Einstein? Era o aniversário de 72 anos dele, e já no final um fotógrafo pediu para bater uma última foto dele. Cansado de sorrir, pois havia sorrido a noite inteira, Einstein virou e colocou a língua para fora, no momento em que a foto foi tirada. Ele próprio gostou tanto da foto que pediu algumas cópias e enviou a seus amigos cartões com a imagem! (Fonte) […]

  3. As much of a genius as Einstein was…there is one famous statement he made that I suspect in retrospect he would very much like to retract. He once defined insanity as the behavior of: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”…but here is where he missed the boat…it is impossible to do the same thing over and over again because the conditions are never exactly the same…by the next time you do it, you have changed, the conditions have changed, etc. This is so obvious one does not even need to invoke quantum theory (which Einstein initially rejected) to support it…it is very basic. It is also very intuitive and common sensical that if a novice basketball player walks up to the free throw line to attempt a free throw, he does not expect to make the shot, he know chances are he will miss, furthermore he expects that he will most likely miss in a different way each time (even though he is trying to do the same thing over and over again…that is make the shot). It points to an error that a theoretician would be more likely to make than experimentalist, and Einstein, was pretty much a strict theoretician (one wonders if he had ever even seen a test tube or function generator before). The reality is, there is no such thing as the same thing over and over because the universe is constantly changing and given that there is inherent unpredictability in the change it is impossible to ever guarantee the exact same set of conditions at two different points in time.

  4. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your website.

  5. You are able to definitely see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for a lot more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  6. […] A lot of photographs that go on to be very famous are people – posed portraits, people caught unawares. Many photographers make it their business to capture the essence of people in traditional settings with a twist. Think of Yousuf Karsh pulling Churchill’s cigar from his mouth before snapping his iconic photo. Or they happen quite by accident. Think Einstein sticking his tongue out at Arthur Sasse. […]

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