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  • Incredible!

    Posted by James R. Rummel on February 25th, 2005 (All posts by )

    Here’s a webpage that claims to have color photos from WWI. It looks reasonably legit from what I can see, but I can’t say for sure.

    Click on over and have a look.

    Reader Paul Stinchfield has sent me two links where WWI color photos may be found. They are this one and this one.

    If you’re interested in looking over a huge online archive of French photographic pioneers, then I suggest that you click this link and start browsing. Lots of stuff there.

    (Hat tip to Spoons, and he got from Vodkapundit.)


    10 Responses to “Incredible!”

    1. Lex Says:

      There were color photos taken ten years before World War I. It was expensive and uncommon, but there is no doubt color photography being done at the time.

    2. Lex Says:

      Here are some more.

    3. incognito Says:

      Great photos, thanks for sharing.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Fabulous, thanks.

    5. ginny Says:

      Thanks. (I’m going to forward these to the guys that teach WWI–they will love them.)

    6. nash Says:

      There was a show on the History Channel based on what they claimed was color film footage from WWI. I don’t know if it was true or a gimmick, but the colors looked funny to me, sort of like the colorized version of Ted Turner’s black and white movies.

    7. Sean Says:

      Yes there was colour photography and yes these are from WWI. Must be after 1914 scince the French have given up their red trousers. I saw these photos many months ago via Last of the Famous International Playboys.


      The French weren’t the only ones doing colour photography. There is an extensive pre-revolutionary Russia archive as well as a few photos of British and American origin. The French archive seems to be the largest of them. And the quality of the photos is simply something to be marveled at. Apparently the technique involved using various dyed potato mashes.

      Also available at [Link]. Easy to navigate if you can read French.

    8. chel Says:

      Check out this Library of Congress exhibit:


      I especially like the ones in the “Ethnic Diversity” link.

    9. Jonathan Says:

      Looking at these photos a second time I notice a bias toward bright summer days that I suspect were not typical. One does not get quite the impression of mud and bleakness that is common in B&W photos from the same period, and I don’t think that’s entirely because of the color. Maybe the color equipment’s limitations made it useable on only the brightest dry days. The old Russian color photos have a similar appearance.

    10. incognito Says:

      Thanks Chel. Stunningly beautiful pictures of turn of the century Russia.