Amazing 100 year old colour photos

Ahhhh. Britain in the first decades of the 20th Century. The country was about a third larger than it is now (315,093 kmē compared to 244,820 kmē as it is now) and the Empire was still growing (it didn't reach its biggest extent until 1922).

In 1900, Queen Victoria was on the Throne and she was followed by her son, King Edward VII, in 1901.

The country was also less crowded - despite the country being a third larger than it is now, Britain's population in the 1910s was only about 40 million, compared to 61 million today.

Here are some colour photos of Britain around 100 years ago. Colour photos didn't come around until 1907, so these are some of the first in the world...

Revealed: The amazing pictures of Britain in colour for the very first time

27th April 2008
Daily Mail

Seeing the world captured in colour is something most of us take for granted.

But at the start of the 20th century, the art of photography was rather more limited - to black and white images, with various shades of grey in between.

It was not until 1907 that autochrome - the process through which colour photographs were first produced - was invented in Paris.

Returning heroes: The Union Jack and the French Tricolour flutter above the lines of troops marching through Knightsbridge in London - then the world's largest city - during the World War One victory parade in 1919

Read all about it: A snapshot of London's Fleet Street, home of the British press in 1924

Sweeping change: An early photograph taken in 1913 of a London residential street

For the first time, vivid pictures of a world still largely unexplored were revealed to a mesmerised public.

And it was all thanks to the humble potato.

It was by using microscopic grains of potato starch that brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere revolutionised photography.

They spread four million of them - dyed in shades of red, green and violet - over a glass plate, compressing them with a roller.

Say cottage cheese: Locals pose in front of a dilapidated cottage in 1913 Cornwall

Party time: A crowd gathers near Big Ben during the 1919 victory celebrations

Monumental moment: After the 1919 victory parade, London's Piccadilly Circus is eerily deserted

When the plate was exposed to light, the potato grains acted as filters and yielded a startling colour image.

French millionaire and philanthropist Albert Kahn was among the first to see the possibilities of autochrome.

He poured his entire fortune into hiring a team of photographers, which he dispatched to more than 50 countries.

Dublin in 1909. In 1909, Dublin was part of Britain, unlike today, and for decades was Britain's second largest city after London. In 1922, Dublin became a foreign city when what is now the Republic of Ireland seceded from Britain

His aim was to make a record of all the people of the world.

In Britain they captured, in fascinating detail, a nation on the brink of historical change and which in a few short years would be irrevocably altered by the events of World War One.

Kahn, one of the richest men in Europe, was forced to abandon his work in 1931, after losing everything in the Wall Street Crash.

However, his legacy of more than 72,000 autochromes - the best of which are published in a new book - give an invaluable glimpse of the world at the beginning of the 20th century.

Village life: Children play on the cobbled streets of St Ives in Cornwall

Picturesque: With Oxford University in the background, students punt along the Cherwell

East Industry: Merchant ships from all across the British Empire are berthed on the bank of the Thames
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Nice pics!

About that time Jack London reported on the extreme poverty of London. Your photos do not reflect any of this but it would be interesting to see some.
Nobody wastes film on the poor........
The roads look just like they have introduced congestion charging and the latest car taxes have set in.The future is here and it's green.......and Brown has finally finished taxing what is left of everybodies income.
Here's some more, mainly World War 1:
lone wolf
Thanks BL! Somehow, it seems to me Kodak gets credit for colour. This sort of proves otherwise.

Last edited by lone wolf; May 5th, 2008 at 05:55 PM..
That was nice to see, thanks for posting it

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