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10+ Oldest Color Photos Show How The World Looked 100 Years Ago

When you think of old photographs, you naturally think in terms of black and white, but as you can see from these stunning photographs from the turn of the 20th century, color photography has been around for a lot longer than you think.

Before 1907, if you wanted a color photograph then you (well, a professional colorist) basically had to color it in using different dyes and pigments, but two French brothers called Auguste and Louis Lumière changed all that with a game-changing process that they called the Autochrome Lumière. Using dyed grains of potato starch and light-sensitive emulsion, they were able to produce vibrant photographs without the need for additional colorization. Despite being difficult to manufacture and also somewhat expensive, the process was very popular among amateur photographers and one of the world’s first books of color photography was published using the Autochrome Lumière technique.

The brothers revolutionized the world of color photography until Kodak took things to a whole new level with the invention of Kodachrome film in 1935, a lighter and more convenient alternative that quickly made the Autochrome Lumière obsolete (although its popularity continued in France up until the 1950s). Kodachrome was also eventually overtaken by the rise of digital photography (Kodak stopped manufacturing Kodachrome in 2009), which is now by far the world’s most popular way to take pictures, but modern advances in photographic technology wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of early pioneers like Auguste and Louis Lumière. Scroll down for a collection of stunning century-old color photographs using their groundbreaking technique.

(h/t: boredpanda)

#1 Christina In Red, 1913

Image source: Mervyn O’Gorman

#2 Sisters Sitting In A Garden Tying Roses Together, 1911

Image source: Etheldreda Janet Laing

#3 Flower Street Vendor, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#4 Musing (Mrs. A. Van Besten), C. 1910

Image source: Alfonse Van Besten

#5 The Eiffel Tower, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#6 Daydreams, 1909

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#7 Heinz And Eva On The Hillside, 1925

Image source: Friedrich Paneth

#8 Moulin Rouge, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#9 The Grenata Street Army, 1915

Image source: Léon Gimpel

#10 A Girl Holds A Doll Next To Soldiers’ Equipment In Reims, France, 1917

Image source: Fernand Cuville

#11 Young Girl Amidst Marguerites, C. 1912

Image source: Alfonse Van Besten

#12 Among The First Coloured Pictures Ever Taken By Louis Lumière, 1907

Image source: Mo

#13 Charlie Chaplin, 1918

Image source: Charles C. Zoller

#14 Woman Smoking Opium, 1915

Image source: Léon Busy

#15 Two Girls In Oriental Costume, 1908

Image source: Etheldreda Janet Laing

#16 Outdoor Market, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#17 Autochrome Of Mark Twain, 1908

Image source: Alvin Langdon Coburn

#18 Air Balloons, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#19 Van Besten Painting In His Garden, 1912

Image source: Alfonse Van Besten

#20 Two Girls On A Balcony, 1908

Image source: Etheldreda Laing

#21 Woman And Girl By A Brook, 1910

Image source: Charles Corbet

#22 Eva And Heinz On The Shore Of Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, C. 1927

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#23 Family Portrait At Roannay, Belgium, 1913

Image source: Georges Gilon

#24 Christina In Red, 1913

Image source: Mervyn O’Gorman

#25 Apan (Young Samurai), 1912

Image source: Albert Kahn

#26 Sweden, Near Gagnef (Mother And Daughter In Traditional Clothes), 1910

Image source: Albert Kahn

#27 Mother Of Seven Making Fringes For Knitted Shawls, Galway, Ireland, 29 May 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#28 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar, 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#29 Joan In Red Riding Hood Cape With Basket, 1907

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#30 Lanchester 38hp Tourer, 1913

Image source: Unknown.

#31 An Autochrome Of Two Sisters, 1908

Image source: Etheldreda Laing

#32 Louis Lumière’s Daughter And Her Dolls, 1913

Image source: Mo

#33 Autochrome Of Else Paneth On A Camel, 1913

Image source: Friedrich Paneth

#34 Else Reading By The Nile, 1920

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#35 Autochorme By Etheldreda Janet Laing, 1912

Image source: Etheldreda Janet Laing

#36 Japan, Kyoto, 1912

Image source: Albert Kahn

#37 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1912

Image source: Albert Kahn

#38 Giant Oranges,paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#39 Metro, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#40 An Autochrome Of Etheldreda Janet Laing Daughter In A Garden, Holding A Brightly Coloured Bunch Of Pink Flowers, 1908

Image source: Etheldreda Janet Laing

#41 Porte Saint Denis, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#42 The Neptune Fountain, Cheltenham, 1910

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#43 Girl In A Garden With Hollyhocks, 1908

Image source: Etheldreda Laing

#44 Lunch Of A French Soldier In Front Of A Damaged Library, 1st April 1917

Image source: Paul Castelnau

#45 Egypt, Giza, 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#46 Mongolia, Near Ulaanbaatar (Buddhist Lama), 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#47 Mrs. Warburg, 1915

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#48 Autochrome Of A Young Girl, 1910

Image source: Etheldreda Laing

#49 Market Stalls Outside An Egyptian Ruin, 1913

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#50 Children By The Breakwater, 1908

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#51 The Family At The Lake, 1925

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#52 Flower Street Vendor, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#53 Peggy In The Garden, 1909

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#54 Girl With A Parasol Sitting On A Bench, 1908

Image source: Etheldreda Laing

#55 Margate Beach, Blue Girl , 1915

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#56 St. Mark’s Cathedral, Venice, 1925

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Panet

#57 Galway, Ireland 1 May 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#58 Traditional Irish Knitwear, An Spidéal, Galway, Ireland 1 May 1913 (Left), 14-Year-Old Girl From The Claddagh Wearing Traditional Claddagh Dress. Galway, Ireland, 26th May 1913 (Right)

Image source: Albert Kahn

#59 Moulin Rouge, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#60 The Younger Girl Stands Beside Her Sister Holding A Pink Parasol. The Older Girl Rests Her Bonnet On Her Lap, 1908

Image source: Etheldreda Laing

#61 India, Bombay (Sadus), 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#62 Shepherd’s Boy, C. 1913

Image source: Alfonse Van Besten

#63 Palace Of Horticulture, Pan American Exposition, 1915

Image source: George Eastman Museum

#64 Staithes Harbor, 1915

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#65 Highland Castle, Scotland, 1920

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#66 Sphinx And Camel, 1913

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#67 Two Fishermen And A Boy, An Spidéal, Galway, Ireland, 31 May 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#68 Horse, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#69 Girl With A Bucket, 1915

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#70 Galway, Ireland, 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#71 At The Entrance To The Pyramid Of Menkare, 1913

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#72 Stagecoaches At Ghent, 1912

Image source: Alfonse Van Besten

#73 Eiffel Tower River View, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#74 Autochrome Of A Young Girl, 1910

Image source: Etheldreda Laing

#75 Galway, Ireland, 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#76 Autochome Of A Street In Jerusalem By An Unknown Artist During The Early 20th Century

Image source: Roger-Viollet collection

#77 A Rusty Buoy, 1908

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#78 The Kiosk Of Philae, 1913

Image source: Friedrich Adolf Paneth

#79 One Legged Man, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#80 Lumiere Brothers. The Game Of Billiards, 1907

Image source: Mo

#81 Woman Sitting In Library, 1915

Image source: George Eastman Museum

#82 Woman In Floral Silk Robe, 1915

Image source: George Eastman Museum

#83 Autochrome Of French Soldiers Operating Machine Guns During The Second Battle Of The Aisne, 1917

Image source: Fernand Cuville

#84 Peggy Reading, 1909

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#85 On The Sands, 1910

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#86 The Last Digger, 1910

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#87 Two Girls At The Gate, 1915

Image source: John Cimon Warburg

#88 Eva Poses After A Successful Hunt In Scotland, C. 1920

Image source: unknown.

#89 Senegalese Soldiers Serving In The French Army As Infantrymen Are Resting In A Room With Guns And Equipment Next To Them, 16th June 1917

Image source: Paul Castelnau

#90 Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar (Prisoner), 1913

Image source: Albert Kahn

#91 Oranges In Uhlený Trh (“coal Market Square”), Prague, 1910

Image source: Karel Šmirous

#92 Lady And Fruit Dish, 1920

Image source: Paul Sano

#93 Civic And Military Garb, C. 1911

Image source: Alfonse Van Besten

#94 Autochrome Photo By Cdt Tournassoud, 1910

Image source: Mo

#95 The Temple Of Dor El-Medine, 1913

Image source: Friedrich Paneth

#96 Autochrome Of A French Military Cemetery, 1916

Image source: Jules Gervais-Courtellemont

#97 Autochrome Of A French Military Observation Post, 1917

Image source: Paul Castelnau

#98 Cafe La Tasse, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#99 Drunk Man Sleeping On City Street, Paris, 1914

Image source: Albert Kahn

#100 Three Men Playing Cards, 1915

Image source: George Eastman Museum

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