100-Year-Old Photographs Capture The World In Vibrant Color

Color photographs have existed for over 100 years, but they were not only complicated, they were expensive. This meant that most of the pictures that survived over the past century were developed in black and white. Some were colored by a professional colorist that used different pigments and dyes added in by hand after a photo had been taken, but there was another option: “Autochrome Lumiere.”Mrs. Warburg, 1915

Developed by Auguste and Louis Lumiere, brothers interested in the technology, they used dyed grains of potato starch and light-sensitive emulsion that produced colored photographs. This method was widely used by amateur photographers who were enthralled by the idea of capturing the world around them in color as they saw it.1912

In 1935, an easier method, known as Kodachrome, was developed and used for the next several decades until the rise of digital photography.

The Grenata Street Army, 1915

Many adults have admitted that when they think about the past, they automatically attribute it to “black and white” because of old movies and the photographs they’ve seen in their grandparent’s homes.  

Daydreams, 1909

Even when the photographs weren’t necessarily in black and white, they were still in shades of brown or yellow – sometimes due to the type of film and sometimes due to aging. Sisters Sitting In A Garden Tying Roses Together, 1911

Being able to see snapshots of life in color and know that the pictures are over 100 years old puts a very different perspective on “life back then.”

Christina In Red, 1913

The photographs are mesmerizing.

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