09/04/2014 11:34 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Leaking Nudes in the 1910s: A Guide


The recent celebrity photo hacking scandal has raised copious concerns and questions regarding security (The other obvious question is why are we storing naked photos with a third party?).

The hacking was wrong, obviously. But it was, from what I've read, pretty straight forward as far as the hacking process went.

I bet it was much more difficult to leak nudes back in the "oughts" and early twentieth century. You couldn't sit all day and night in a dark room with Slayer playing in the background. You had to work for it. Leaking photographs of Theda Bara or Anna Pavlova (or Albert Schweitzer if you're into that) took time and patience.

To give you an example of just how difficult it was back in the day. This is what the common hacker in 1915 was up against.

1. Distract a couple on their way home from the theater. Perhaps this set involves a conspirator.

2. Break into their apartment building posing as a man who just came home with bags of groceries. "Oh, can you please hold the door? Yes. I know. It's that season again!"

3. Once in the building, you must pick the door lock. A task that could be quite difficult with the dim lighting. Hallways pre-1940 were mostly dark.

4. Upon successful picking, locate the two-ton oriental rug. Persian rugs were not so common at the time.

5. Roll up the rug and grab said photos from under the rug. Careful not to have the rug fall back onto you and suffocate you. Your hacking will end before it began.

6. Escape undetected. The dark hallways makes this easier.

7. Find a portrait artist. A good one.

8. Wait several months until the artist has painted enough copies of the photograph(s) to distribute.

9. Break back into the apartment. See steps 1-5

10. Finally. You have enough copies to distribute throughout the city.

11. Hope it doesn't rain.

There you have it. Pretty difficult task if I don't say so myself.