If you look at any of the walls in your house, there is a high likelihood that there are plenty of paintings or photographs hung up on the walls. From pictures of you and your family out on vacation to a painting you made when you were younger, we have a tendency to hang up the photos for all who visit our homes to see. It’s something we’ve done for as long as we can remember, but not a lot of people know why or when we started it. So that presents an interesting question: When did we start hanging photos? Why do people hang photos? For what reason do people still hang photos today? Should we just store them on our phones instead or somewhere else? Well, this article is here to be as comprehensive of an answer to all of those questions as possible, along with showing you a new, innovative way to display your photos, artwork, and even things like phones, tablets, or whatever you want to hang up!
When Did People Start Hanging Photos?
The earliest known instance of people hanging a picture on a wall could be when our ancient ancestors did cavern art, though that would be a bit of a stretch to call it “hanging a photo”. For a more traditional example of hanging a photo on a wall, it could be speculated that people have hung photos on walls ever since houses were built. According to Ryno Swart, who answered this question on Quora, “American Indian and African tribes and probably all civilizations decorated their shelters, their sheds, and their clothes.”* So the earliest that you could say we have hung artwork for as long as civilization has been around.
A more modern example of hanging pictures can be traced back to the Victorian era. To quote from Old House Magazine on period homes, “Around the 1840s, picture rails or picture molding became common. The idea had been around since the 15th century: hanging pictures from a moveable hook that can hold substantial weight and that doesn’t mar the wall surface.”** So while we can’t give an exact date, it can be said that the modern practices of hanging pictures started around the 1840s with railings before the practice slowly evolved into what it is today, with picture rails, clips, and our new solution.
Why Do People Hang Photos?
So now that we (at least partially) know the “when” answering the “why” should be easy enough. While this answer will vary from person to person and piece to piece, one response could be to easily see, appreciate, and remember some of your favorite moments in your life. Being able to walk down a hallway and see all sorts of moments throughout your life is something that a lot of people can cherish; memories and what we see can usually only do so much for reliving a great experience. Taking a photo and hanging it up of an event like when your child took their first steps, your wedding, or things of a similar note can truly help us to get a clear mental image of our happiest days.
For art collectors, hanging your pieces can serve to bring attention to them in a big way. Just like with a good photo of a family vacation, an interesting piece of artwork can both inspire the mind upon viewing it and lead to interesting conversation for anyone that visits your home. It could be a showcase of your wealth if it’s a piece you won at auction, a showcase of your creativity if its a piece you made yourself, and it can serve as a show of individuality no matter what.
Of course, this overgeneralization of why people hang photos is not going to apply to everyone. Just like every photo and painting, everyone is different from one another, and people will have wildly different reasons for why they choose to showcase their art or photos. So while we could talk about the many reasons people would have, it would be best to move on before things get out of hand.
Why Not Store Photos on Your Phone?
A method a lot of people seem to be going for nowadays with the advent of powerful smartphones with professional-grade cameras is to simply take their photos and keep them on their phone or upload them to one of the many social media platforms that exist nowadays. While this does have its own set of benefits such as being able to take videos as well - something that isn’t easily presentable without any of the many smart frame devices coming out nowadays - along with the multitude of cloud backup services to store your photos coming out, there are plenty of drawbacks to doing this compared to hanging them.
The simplest way to do this is to simply keep your photos on your phone’s internal memory. While this solution may work if you don’t take a lot of photos or if your phone’s camera quality is very low, this will only work for so long if you like to take many pictures, And if would
be costly to continue to buy microSD cards for your phone if you keep filling them up, especially for the high storage models that can go all the way up to and above 400 dollars on Amazon!***
Okay, so what about cloud storage? Yes, being able to upload your photos to the cloud is a nice thing, but unless you strictly use that as a backup service for physical photos you already have, there is always a chance - slim, large, or otherwise - that the cloud service could implode and you could lose access to all of your pictures. And if you use a less widespread service and they go under, that loss of access if permanent.
Art collectors have no reason to bother using a phone due to the simple fact that you just cannot store it easily on there. Though both have a commonality of physical photos and artwork feeling much more special than a simple digital picture. It’s much more interesting to see a nice photo or art piece on a wall rather than on a tiny phone screen, one that may not even be able to display the images correctly.
Why Not Store Them A Different Way?
So if phones aren’t the best option, what about other options? For art collectors or people that print their photos, phones just aren’t effective enough of a way to share them.
For photographs, many people decide to put them into a picture book. While this is an efficient way to keep many photos in a convenient place while still having them in a quantifiable form, the drawbacks are, again, plentiful. Like storing your photos on your phone, it is difficult to truly showcase a picture book to any visitors unless you deliberately go, grab it, and bring it out to show your guests. These can also easily be lost in accidents. Chances are the photos in the book are the only physical versions of it and if those get burnt up, flooded, or you need to get rid of them for whatever reason, they’re gone. While these can happen to a photo as well, the chances are much lower due to the wall-mounted nature of them.
For art, some people may choose to store it in a rental place due to some art piece’s size. However, this has the drawback of constantly sapping funds from you for every month you rent out the storage. There is also a chance that if you forget your payments, the property in that storage will be forfeited and auctioned off with no way for you to get the items back, which could cost you a lot more than if you simply choose to hang it on the wall. And if you choose to store them in your home, they likely could begin taking up a lot of space. Considering the average sizes of a large painting can get as big as 36 by 48 inches according to the mybluprint**** , or about 3 by 4 feet, any collector could find their closets, garages, or wherever they store it quickly getting filled with their collections.
How Should You Hang Them Then?
So now that we know that hanging your photos and paintings is the best way to go, what are your options?
The first option is to simply bang a nail into a wall and hang it by a rope or string of some kind. This has a multitude of drawbacks, such as permanently putting a hole into your wall unless you wish to completely redo it for a high price, the chance of you injuring yourself while nailing the wall with a hammer, and the danger of the photo or art falling off the nail and either breaking something else, getting damaged in the fall, or both. The cheapness just is not worth the risks.
There are also picture rails that you can mount on your wall. However, these also have plenty of drawbacks. For one, they can be a bit of a distraction by extending the frame at the bottom. They can also be quite cumbersome or complicated to install, involving a long mounting process that is, again, going to leave potential holes in your wall that you cannot patch out without putting out a decent bit of money.
There are also picture hooks, but those suffer similar issues to the picture rail, on top of being very easy to lose considering their quite small size. And of course, nailing the picture or art itself onto the wall is by far the worst way to hang up either or considering it will damage the piece.
So, if all of these options have drawbacks, what is the best option to hang up your photos and art pieces?
Levitate Hanger: The Best Way To Hang Your Photos and More!
And considering the fact you can spin the photo around without any worry, it stands to reason that our product is durable, and it is! It can hold up to 20 pounds without any issue whatsoever. On top of being able to hang up framed photos, it is able to even hang up phones, tablets, and pretty much anything else you can think of! And it’s 100 percent reusable because we love the planet that much - one of the pillars this product was made on was to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
With all of this compounded on top of the fact that this will literally make your photos Levitate, providing a cool effect to all that visit and admire your wonderful memories of your family’s summer vacation or the magnificent artwork that you either collected or created yourself, we hope that our hangers provide the most obvious and best solution for all of your photo, phone, tablet, or whatever-you-want-hanging needs!
You can visit our Kickstarter and our pre-order page if you want to preorder a Levitate Hanger, or two, or ten for yourself. So get to Levitating!
* "Art History: When did people start hanging pictures on walls? - Quora." https://www.quora.com/Art-History-When-did-people-start-hanging-pictures-on-walls. Accessed 29 Oct. 2019.
** "Picture Rails for Period Houses - Old House Journal Magazine." 16 Jul. 2012, https://www.oldhouseonline.com/interiors-and-decor/how-to-hang-pictures-in-an-old-house. Accessed 29 Oct. 2019.
*** "SanDisk 1TB Extreme microSD UHS-I Card with ... - Amazon.com." https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-microSD-UHS-I-Adapter/dp/B07PBY4VD5. Accessed 2 Nov. 2019.
**** "Painter's Reference: A Guide to Common Art Canvas Sizes." 29 Jan. 2019, https://www.mybluprint.com/article/how-big-should-your-art-canvas-be-heres-how-to-size-up-your-choices. Accessed 31 Oct. 2019.