(1861) Oldest Shamokin photo?? Could be. This is a very small photo, about the size of a business card. On the back and in black thin cursive writing is the following: "Showing corner Washington + Commerce St 1861". Stamped on the back is the photographer's information: "C. Raker, Shamokin, Penna. Duplicates furnished at any time Negatives retained". It's not out of the realm of possibility that this is from 1861.
Photography was already around, but just in its infancy. From 1861 to 1865, Mathew Brady and his employees photographed the Civil War. He became known as the father of photojournalism. The common method of achieving a photograph at this time was the collodion process, which is too confusing to talk about here...Btw, the earliest surviving photograph, of anything, is from 1826.