1910 in glorious colour

Our perception of the early 1900s may be prejudiced by the fact that we may have seen it only in black-and-white photos. We have a mental picture of a dark, dismal world of greys and blacks.

From 1909 to 1915, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii took photos through a triplet of tinted filters. The U.S. Library of Congress restored these photos and exhibited them in 2001, enabling us to see life from almost a hundred years ago as we had never seen it before.


Here were blue skies, where previously we’d only seen grey. Here were green hillsides dotted with bright flowers, where previously we’d only seen mottled grey. Here were shiny marble walls and golden sandstone buildings where previously we’d only seen light and dark grey.

The story behind these photos is summarised at damninteresting.com, whilst the Prokudin-Gorskii photos are exhibited online at the Library of Congress.


One Response to “1910 in glorious colour”

  1. pafalafaga says:

    There’s something magical and bittersweet about those photos…they’re quite wonderful. Thanks for posting them, Roger.