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Early 1900s in Colour
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In the early part of the 20th century French-Jewish capitalist Albert Kahn set about to collect a photographic record of the world, the images were held in an 'Archive of the Planet'. Before the 1929 stock market crash he was able to amass a collection of 180,000 metres of b/w film and more than 72,000 autochrome plates, the first industrial process for true colour photography
Autochrome was the first industrial process for true colour photography. When the Lumiï¿½re brothers launched it commercially in June 1907, it was a photograhic revolution - black and white came to life in colour. Autochromes consist of fine layers of microscopic grains of potato starch dyed either red-orange, green or violet blue combined with black carbon particles, spread over a glass plate where it is combined with a black and white photographic emulsion. All colours can be reproduced from three primary colours.
A few photos from the collection.
Dahomey - now Benin
United States of America
Albert Kahn was a man of peace but unfortunately he had to live through three major wars against his country. The following are colour images of World War One.
This article has been viewed 3440542 times in the last 6 years
Jack: 7th May 2010 - 19:27 GMT
Amazing pictures! I hope I get to visit all of these places. But what is that Mongolian boy doing in that box? Does anyone know?
burg: 7th May 2010 - 19:37 GMT
It's not a boy... Well, it might be a boy, but it's some form of capital punishment for criminals. They get tied/locked up like that for their sentence.
Franny Wentzel: 7th May 2010 - 20:05 GMT
That picture appeared in the May '22 NatGeo with the caption 'A Mongolian Woman Condemned to Die of Starvation'
adze: 7th May 2010 - 22:02 GMT
To think that someone actually thought "lets just put them in a wooden box and leave them".. Hilarious! Not a pleasant way to die though.
ter: 9th May 2010 - 10:54 GMT
These pictures are fascinating, and I don't use that word much, I would really love to see more colour photography from many years ago, it's a shame so little exists.
Juan Pablo: 9th May 2010 - 19:07 GMT
What a marvelous collection! Fascinating, beautiful, and a excellent work! Thanks for the post!
Tom O'Sullivan: 9th May 2010 - 19:25 GMT
Very strange aren't they.....sad at the bit of the war and that Mongolian woman was fairly unlucky wasn't she. I thought there would have been more of America.(I'm from Ireland)
anon montreal: 9th May 2010 - 22:18 GMT
great photographic collection! its a shame so little pictures exist in color of those times
Xinab: 9th May 2010 - 23:23 GMT
So much have changed since long long ago but women are STILL being ill-treated in so many parts of the world in so many ways.
Ryan Brown: 9th May 2010 - 23:56 GMT
Wow this is amazing! It's hard to believe that these photos are so old, the look like they are quite new!
Ed Rhoden, Indiana: 10th May 2010 - 01:09 GMT
Beautiful work. Seeing these people also brings to me the reality that their lives have come and gone, and yet, I have just glimpsed them for the first time. Amazing and sad at the same time.
Giuseppe: 10th May 2010 - 02:42 GMT
Some appear to just be colorized black & whites but the actual color images are true relics.
Scott: 10th May 2010 - 02:56 GMT
Amazing!!! Natural dress from each country. Not an "I'm A Pepper" tee shirt in the bunch.
Purvi Thaker: 10th May 2010 - 11:23 GMT
Great pictures......all that i studied about the world history (the cultures, the traditions, the socio-economic circumstatia) seems to have come alive in these pictures..... wonderful work and wnderful post.....
Annanana4: 10th May 2010 - 11:26 GMT
It's hard to believe they had the technology to create pictures like these in the early 20th century. Thanks for sharing.
Patriiick: 10th May 2010 - 13:31 GMT
The quality of autochromes colors has never been matched by modern techniques. I am lucky to live near Lumiere brothers museum (and their family home, well a castle actualy), and I strongly encourage you to visit this place (Lyon, France). You'll see the remains of the first films factory.
MacSmiley: 10th May 2010 - 19:34 GMT
A "FEW" photos from the collection?? Are you sure you didn't just scrape the entire website?
Pinke: 10th May 2010 - 22:06 GMT
These photos are so amazing! Seeing the past in color makes it seem more real. Does that make sense? Very intriguing!
Luc: 11th May 2010 - 02:42 GMT
Besides being unique historical documents, these are great photos by any standards.
Marie-Andrée: 11th May 2010 - 04:10 GMT
Merci beaucoup de nous partager ces magnifiques photos du passé...
Andrew: 11th May 2010 - 04:43 GMT
I think the one labeled as "United States of America" is actually the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, but I can't be sure.
Franny Wentzel: 11th May 2010 - 05:05 GMT
The USA one shows the Plaza Hotel and the mansions of Fifth Avenue. The Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion is large building seen just before the street opens onto Grand Army Plaza - Bergdof Goodman stands there now.
Isabelle: 11th May 2010 - 05:49 GMT
@Andrew : I was born and raised in Québec city and I can tell you without any doubt that it's not the Château Frontenac. But it's the same architecture, the roof is the same. :)
Darrell Ingram: 11th May 2010 - 09:40 GMT
Check out the 'time traveller' boy wearing shorts and what looks like a red fleece in the Morocco photo:
horseman247: 11th May 2010 - 12:20 GMT
THE PRINTED LIGHT WAS GREAT....I AM GLAD THEY KNEW HOW TO CATCH
Goosebump: 11th May 2010 - 12:38 GMT
Truly fantastic to see all of the traditional costumes, so unique and colourful. Jeans and t-shirt monoculture has a lot to answer for.
Lo: 11th May 2010 - 15:25 GMT
really fantastic to glimpse the past, I found myself looking at the clothing designs, also looking for how women were portrayed, really fascinating! also @Hans- what country are you from?
Hallie: 11th May 2010 - 15:40 GMT
Wow!! These were amazing to see all the cultural differences and costume! Very inspirational actually! Thanks!
Idiolalia: 11th May 2010 - 16:02 GMT
Fascinating that there are no fat people! You couldn't take a photograph nowadays of a group of people without some (most?) of them being overweight-especially in the US...
Sharon Bonelli: 11th May 2010 - 16:36 GMT
These are really increadible! The quality is unbelievable for that era.
Ron S.: 11th May 2010 - 16:50 GMT
An amazing archive of pictures. Thank you, Albert Kahn. A rare glimpse into a life long gone and long ago. The world has changed, in some cases, for the better and in a some of cases, for the worst, since then. The pace of life back then was much slower than it is today. There are many examples of traditional dress shown in these photos that we do not see now. Back then, it was normal everyday dress for some of these people. There was a respect for the ritual and rhythm of every day life. Now it is rush here, rush there, rush, rush everywhere. We have lost something special.
Peter Hood: 11th May 2010 - 17:25 GMT
About 15 years ago I worked in a photo studio where one of the female employees specialized in hand colouring b&w photos, the results looking not much different than these ! As a sceptic I would question the authenticity of some of these autochromes.
Baron: 11th May 2010 - 17:43 GMT
I agree with Mr. Hood, I used to do hand oil coloring of B&W photos for "founders' day" type events, and several of these are exactly that technique.
Stuart: 11th May 2010 - 18:42 GMT
Amazing how the colour makes the images look so contemporary. The past doesn't seem as remote in colour.
Joe: 11th May 2010 - 18:47 GMT
Peter, Baron: See www.albertkahn.co.uk/
Shawn: 11th May 2010 - 18:57 GMT
I must agree with Idiolalia's observation. What I found interesting though is that the only fat person in the pictures is the woman from Holland. Not at all typical of the Dutch today.
lemmy: 11th May 2010 - 19:09 GMT
These photos just made me feel sad that I exist in these times. I wish I could go back in time to that period in the 1900s and never come back!
Rick: 11th May 2010 - 19:34 GMT
Re Peter Hood and Baron:
Hand colouring was done on prints, not glass plates. And hand colouring was never that good. Besides it's easy enough to analyse the grain.
Shelly: 11th May 2010 - 20:33 GMT
Thank you for for allowing me to view these truely wonderful pictures it is unforgetable .
satan: 11th May 2010 - 20:54 GMT
i guess people hated life back then because no one is smiling. i guess its because these people actually had to work for a living unlike a lot of people today who have it easy.
Tab Numlo9ck: 11th May 2010 - 21:04 GMT
Wow, back then everyone was in his own country instead of here :(
Franny Wentzel: 11th May 2010 - 21:04 GMT
You try getting people to say 'cheese' in a hundred languages...
Reg D: 11th May 2010 - 21:58 GMT
No one is smiling back then because it wasn't the custom to smile when being photographed. As a matter of fact, who made the rule that everyone has to wear a dumb smile just because there's a camera in front of them?
Joey: 12th May 2010 - 01:25 GMT
Absolutely incredible collection. It's funny how a dab of color in an old photo brings the realism of the subject and material so much closer to home for our 21st century minds. I don't think these photos in B&W would have the same effect.
Gilbert: 12th May 2010 - 09:39 GMT
I like these pictures from Albert-Kahn but it could be more useful to have the place (town, region, country) and the date of each picture. Thank you to share. /G
Charles Butterworth: 12th May 2010 - 12:17 GMT
What an amazing collection of pictures !.. A great look at the past as i have never seen before . I also love all the old traditional costumes ,also noted that not many fat people around these times !! " what no Mcdonalds back then ?"
eugen: 12th May 2010 - 12:36 GMT
ok,that's realy good work,but other countries have a buildings and large modern cities in this time too,not only USA.....and,on pictures of Serbia are Albanians,not Serbs...
Dave. Liverpool: 12th May 2010 - 13:53 GMT
Aw wow I love old pictures they all tell a story of their own. Brilliant Website. That poor worman in the box why is she fiddling with the lock? I reckon she was using the toilet and some ones pushed it over and put a lock on it and she's shouting "dont just take a bleedin picture, let me out or ill go all Genghis on you".
Tim: 12th May 2010 - 17:02 GMT
The style of architecture in many places was so beautiful back then. Not like the square boxes we have today. Sad about the war pics.
Linda: 12th May 2010 - 18:56 GMT
Everything I wanted to say about these amazing pictures has been said. I hope more people from around the world have an opportunity to view them.
esam mowfaq: 12th May 2010 - 20:14 GMT
Wow!! These were amazing to see all the cultural differences and costume! Very inspirational actually!
James Douglas Miller: 12th May 2010 - 20:54 GMT
A wonderful collection of photographs taken around the World. I saw my friend Robert Gault, as a young boy, in the one of Ireland.
Marjee: 12th May 2010 - 23:10 GMT
Thanks for posting these wonderful documentary photos. I don't care weather they are hand colored or not. It's the content that speaks volumes. What a great "eye" this man had.
Bill: 13th May 2010 - 00:56 GMT
The faces look like they were photographed yesterday. Esp the young iranian girls. Beautiful local dress.
Bruce: 13th May 2010 - 01:50 GMT
People don't smile in old photos because of the long exposure times required.
Alice Knowlton: 13th May 2010 - 01:56 GMT
Very interesting pictures and the information that goes with them.
cc: 13th May 2010 - 03:05 GMT
very aesthetically appealing, but i can't help but be disturbed at the possibility (probability) of such images being used to argue the "white man's burden," as demonstrated perhaps in the National Geographic issue. well, i'm interested in those connections; what i'm disturbed by is the proclivity for people of this age to continue to "pick up the white man's burden" as Rudyard Kipling instructed around the time these photos were taken.
John DeMetrick: 13th May 2010 - 11:22 GMT
Any relation to Volkmar Wentzel, an early photographer for National Geographic? I stayed with the family for a summer when I lived in Washington DC. He had an amazing collection of images from around the world spanning his forty year career...
Jack Pye, Liverpool: 13th May 2010 - 12:00 GMT
What a fantastic collection! Wonder if there is another similar collection hidden away anywhere else in the world.
John K: 13th May 2010 - 12:12 GMT
Wonderful pictures, thank you!
I would like to note just one think. There is no such country as Macedonia, it is called FYROM!
Susan G.: 13th May 2010 - 13:44 GMT
These pictures are amazing! They are very inspirational and very poignant. They speak to a time gone by, and yet some of them appear as though they could have been taken yesterday. They create a well of emotion. It's good to have this visual record of the past, especially in an age where we're always rushing to the future. Enough cannot be said of this treasure. Everyone who has the good fortune to view them should forward them to everyone they know. This is the type of e-mail that definitely should be shared. Thank you, Mr. Kahn!
Paul Bahre: 13th May 2010 - 13:54 GMT
These are great. You can see the people still clung to the old school ways 19th century ways of doing things. Looking at the pictures of Iran and Iraq the people don't even look Muslim and if you go to those countries today all the women are wearing veils. There has been a definite movement in Muslim countries for their women today to cover up. Looking at the Indian Men, seems to be that they were walking around half naked. Cool stuff
Rita: 13th May 2010 - 14:25 GMT
Amazing, beautefull but also the difference between rich and poor!
Jonathan E.: 13th May 2010 - 16:12 GMT
Wow,,, very beautiful places..that was the true beauty of nature GLOBAL WARMING was unknown to that day..people live in simple living no pollution,hope our grandson can see that pictures too.Today were the one destroying our planet...
Franny Wentzel: 13th May 2010 - 16:33 GMT
The pollution back then was hideous. Industrialised cities lay under a cloud of coal smoke and all cities reeked of horse manure because that was their mode of transport. I can't imagine there was much in the way of sewage treatment apart from sending it all downstream - which is why most cities turned their backs on their shorelines until the 1970s.
Ecology? If it moves, shoot it or squish it, Eat it if its edible. Plenty more where that came from. If it doesn't move, it's in Man's way. Cut it down or knock it over. Burn it if its flammable. Plenty more where that came from.
Soil conservation? Never heard of it. Not until the 1930s when the Dust Bowl shipped most of western Oklahoma to New England did anyone even try things like contour plowing or other sustainable methods.
Sometimes we do learn to do better.
anon (modemcable099.84-81-70.mc.videotron.ca): 13th May 2010 - 17:01 GMT
where in canada is that? it says musee albert-khan which makes me think both it's in quebec but also in mongolia (by the name, yes its a superficial statement to make)
Franny Wentzel: 13th May 2010 - 17:26 GMT
This is the only photo of Montreal I have that has a building that might even conceivably be the turreted building in modern form...
Perhaps with the right incantations we can summon up our Evil Gentleman in Montreal for an answer...
Matthew: 13th May 2010 - 17:41 GMT
this was a pretty fantastic view of life way back in the day. i enjoyed everysingle picture and sometimes wich i could have lived that far in the past. it was a beautiful composit of picture and i think you should turn it into some kind of book.
Franny Wentzel: 13th May 2010 - 18:21 GMT
Actually... it is a book...
Beti: 13th May 2010 - 18:26 GMT
Wow - The photo of the bridge in Bosnia? I have a puzzle with that photo! The puzzle photo must have been taken in the 70s. It's interesting to see it many years earlier. Thanks!
Lyndylou: 13th May 2010 - 18:52 GMT
Fantastic pictures - what an archive - well worth preserving and showing.
Fat Kristen: 13th May 2010 - 20:04 GMT
Hans fat people are in a box! didn't you know that? do you think we want to be in these boxes?!
EmKaBe: 13th May 2010 - 20:28 GMT
Xinab: 9th May 2010 - 23:23 GMT
From the set of photographs shown here I failed to still ill-treated women, except perhaps for the prisoner in Mongolia. Everyone had chores then and women were not saved from them. Most of the pictures we see of women here are rather well treated.
there'sInternetInAfrica: 13th May 2010 - 21:00 GMT
wow look what everyone has 'stumbled' upon!
Bix: 13th May 2010 - 21:19 GMT
Just wonderful. I can't stop looking. So much to see.
- Life looked hard back then, in many places.
Ossie Knowlton: 13th May 2010 - 23:16 GMT
These photographs are outstanding! They look like they could have been taken just yesterday.
Franny Wentzel: 14th May 2010 - 00:17 GMT
If I recall, that bridge in Bosnia was blown up during the 1990s civil war...
Franny Wentzel: 14th May 2010 - 00:25 GMT
Constructed 1557-67, destroyed 1993, reconstructed 2003
Laurie: 14th May 2010 - 01:36 GMT
The time before mass everything and sameness..... How refreshing to see what life was like and a bit sad to see what we've lost through war and progress.
Jojoflyer: 14th May 2010 - 01:37 GMT
I feel fortunate to be able to view this approach to capture a slice of the NOW, at early 20th century.... they knew so little and did so much without the technology of today. Great. Thanks Barri.
chandramoorthi: 14th May 2010 - 04:19 GMT
Suddenly I went into the past and wished that I could do something to make them livelier and colourful, and tell them waht an excellent fashion they had cause I see them nowadays in year 2010....excellent pictures.
Chris P: 14th May 2010 - 08:48 GMT
What an amazing collection, so enlightening to see real people from the past in their real environment. A mixture of emotions floods over you as you observe the people, the locations and the simplicity of how they used to live. Very humbling to see.
Teressa Thorn: 14th May 2010 - 10:40 GMT
Amazing photo's. Interesting to see that, despite the fact one reads there never was a "Palistine", one of the photos is identified as such.
Amy: 14th May 2010 - 10:55 GMT
Gosh..I really had that eerie feeling after viewing the photos. I love them, but you get that sense of sadness too.
Sam Westley: 14th May 2010 - 12:28 GMT
Seeing these pictures in colour enables me to connect with them
Reasonable Ray: 14th May 2010 - 16:52 GMT
Thanks for sharing these amazing and enlightening Photo's.
Jim L.: 14th May 2010 - 18:34 GMT
I believe the subject building is the "old" Hotel Vancouver in Vancouver, British, Columbia, Canada.
anon (modemcable099.84-81-70.mc.videotron.ca): 13th May 2010 - 17:01 GMT
Franny Wentzel: 13th May 2010 - 17:26 GMT
Franny Wentzel: 14th May 2010 - 18:37 GMT
You might be right...
Janet: 14th May 2010 - 18:58 GMT
What a collection! The look into the past is riveting, enlightening. Coming upon Thomas Mann so early in the set was a surprise. Mann knew everyone of importance and his photograph being in the collection suggests friendship with Kahn. Has anyone any information? In any case, a most valuable glimpse into the past.
Mr Plumber Rochdale: 14th May 2010 - 19:14 GMT
wow look what everyone has 'stumbled' upon!
sara: 14th May 2010 - 20:32 GMT
thank you.it,s wonderfull collection.I,m so sorry for human stupidity that showen in these pictures.......
Carine from Los Angeles: 14th May 2010 - 20:59 GMT
Glorious photos. Only a few from the US though....I wonder how much the language has changed and the Dutch actually wore those wooden shoesin Holland!
Sandra: 14th May 2010 - 23:31 GMT
I believe the photo of the United States that some people think is really located in Montreal or Quebec is the Plaza Hotel in New York.
Anthony Pittarelli: 15th May 2010 - 02:59 GMT
unbelievable, lots of this stuff doesnt even exist anymore
Ann: 15th May 2010 - 03:04 GMT
Yey they've got a picture from Norway, with the Bunad! (national costume). haha
hippy49: 15th May 2010 - 08:50 GMT
adze: 7th May 2010 - 22:02 GMT
To think that someone actually thought "lets just put them in a wooden box and leave them".. Hilarious! Not a pleasant way to die though.
Hilarious??? What kind of unfeeling moron are you?
anon (blk-30-162-94.eastlink.ca): 15th May 2010 - 11:41 GMT
Amazing picture pictures . Some made you happy ,others you see beauty and some make you sad. But you see how life is so different different for each and every person . God blesses all.Some of these pictures makes us think how greatful we should be . Celeste May 15th 2010
Judy from Capac: 15th May 2010 - 14:31 GMT
Thank you for sharing these marvelous and amazing photos.
Nancy S. 15th May 2010 - 10:37 AM: 15th May 2010 - 14:44 GMT
This is quite trip to take via your computer. How wonderful to have these to see in this period of time. Some of the pictures remind me of family photos I have in my possession from long ago - back further than WWI. Thank you Mr Kahn for giving all of us the opportunity to have a glimpse via your photos, of some of the world we live in and what it looked like in true color.
Constance C: 15th May 2010 - 16:30 GMT
It looks like the Swedish women were trying to look like Gibson Girls.
Gabriel: 15th May 2010 - 16:33 GMT
Just to respond to comments about how there were no "over weight" people in this era. That statement is pretty much dead wrong. This is still at the time when weight was a sign of social status in many areas of Western Culture. It was a sign of opulence that you could over indulge. Look back at some of the Black and White photos of the time especially at the politicians.
anon (c-71-207-160-81.hsd1.al.comcast.net): 15th May 2010 - 20:02 GMT
I enjoyed these pictures, I enjoy see how things has improved or in so cases have not.
wintershawk: 15th May 2010 - 22:53 GMT
Atime when all things were possible, before 1914 the year of the great war, and the beginning of world wars.
Quack: 16th May 2010 - 03:33 GMT
The Canada photo is in Downtown Vancouver. Using Google Maps, we can still see the Christ Church Cathedral today. maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=49.284494,-123.120889&spn=0,0.000976&t=h&z=21&layer=c&cbll=49.284465,-123.120935&panoid=Ndh9AbMlDdEWlcSuuQgHnA&cbp=12,139.49,,0,-9.03
Quack: 16th May 2010 - 03:42 GMT
@ Franny Wentzel: The building with the turrets could have been the second Fairmont Hotel, which was built in 1916 but was torn down in 1949. Judging by the cars on the street, the photo was taken in the late 1910s, or perhaps even the '20s. Source: www.fairmont.com/EN_FA/Property/HVC/AboutUs/HotelHistory.htm
Franny Wentzel: 16th May 2010 - 04:44 GMT
Yeah, I was able to google a picture of the second Hotel Vancouver.
spiritedfriend: 16th May 2010 - 07:28 GMT
These are so amazing I can hardly believe these were taken less than 100 years ago. The cultures of the entire world have so changed,(yes including Benin). Not only in terms of traditional dress, and architecture, and the dramatic differences in their way of life, but notice also the amount of smog in the air. I remember hearing that "foggy London Town" got that name because of the particulates in the air from wood and coal burning, not from actual fog. It was then the largest city in the world. Although the photos themselves are amazing for that era, and the artistic eye he had was brilliant, the photographs are so well composed and cropped.
bowiez: 16th May 2010 - 08:42 GMT
i don't see photos from Indonesian in these old-pictures...why...?
Mick Russom: 16th May 2010 - 11:50 GMT
I think Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky predated this guy and his stuff seems to be of higher quality.
See about him here:
And his photos:
I find them to be much better than Kahn.
sailin_girl: 16th May 2010 - 12:03 GMT
The Dutch picture and a couple of the other posed ones could be the fancy dress of the person in the picture and not the every-day dress of the subject. A lot of photographers of that era, would take pictures of the out of ordinary or would have their subjects wear their fanciest traditional dress (what some call their "national costume" was usually kept for special occasions and NOT worn every day). It was a way to earn a few extra "pennies" in an era when a few extra pennies made a difference. Just like the Edward Curtis photos of the "American Indian". You don't really believe they wore those headdresses every day, or did chores in the elaborately decorated garments do you? Even today, people dress up for portraits, they don't generally wear everyday clothes for pictures (no jeans and t-shirts) except for the non posed pictures of people working.
Volomike: 16th May 2010 - 14:39 GMT
Note many early color photos can be found in old encyclopedias. Someone needs to find these in garage sales and post these. I could kick myself for not having some of my old encyclopedias from the 1900's anymore. My mother had them and now we can't find them.
allan wokes: 16th May 2010 - 14:49 GMT
I will add my praise to that of others for the photo presentation, but my comment is on the number of stumblers who have seen this collection in such a short time and if you factor in an unknown number as a multiple for those who have viewed it without commenting
jean: 16th May 2010 - 20:59 GMT
they are amazing. But why did the idiot bring up about fat people. thats so rude and no i am not fat....":-)
Dennis: 17th May 2010 - 00:07 GMT
Amazing photos, interesting costumes, Strange comments. Many viewers seem hung up on peoples size, or Africans lack of clothing, and cruel comments on the woman in the box!!!
John Reese: 17th May 2010 - 00:10 GMT
There is nothing like turning back the pages of time. Each photo seemed to tell a story of the time.
Old Doug in BC: 17th May 2010 - 01:37 GMT
As I was an RCAF photographer from 1954 - 1957, my father in law from 1939 till war end, 1945, we both had seen similar shots in color by other photo types. The art of color photography has been around for many years, actually began in 1861 when a Scotsman took the first color photograph. I began making dye transfer photos up to 16" X 20" in the mid 1950s, and my wife's father was taking color photos from 1940 on while in the Cdn Air Force. The system Albert Kahn was using was the Autochrome process, an additive glass plate system. We were still using glass plate technology, making diapositive glass plates produced by Eastman Kodak which we used as slides.
Kathy K: 17th May 2010 - 03:16 GMT
What wonderful gift potato starch has given us! The color lets us connect to the images, seeing them as real people & places, not just images on paper. This collection is like a little time traveling trip, letting us see how much things have changed (or not!)
mikky: 17th May 2010 - 06:12 GMT
why does everyone have to bring up how "no one's fat?" especially how apparently most Americans are fat? Just because you always see pictures of fat Americans doesn't mean we all are! I live in America and most of the people I know aren't. Stop being so obsessed with everyone else's weight!! Especially if you've never even been to America!!
erik S: 17th May 2010 - 07:55 GMT
Heres a link to a site containing color photos of Russia from the early 1900's
Gok : 17th May 2010 - 08:15 GMT
Simple ... Amazing !!!!
John K: 13th May 2010 - 12:12 GMT
Mary C. from Detroit MI USA: 17th May 2010 - 13:39 GMT
I am wondering if the Albert Kahn who took these photos is the same Albert Kahn, architect, who designed many of our beautiful buildings here in Detroit? Wonderful collection.! I agree with a comment earlier made, I think by Laura, about the Chinese man leaning against the pillar. The photo could have been taken yesterday. Amazing!
Meade Morgan: 17th May 2010 - 15:07 GMT
This is very cool.I enjoyed seeing all of these photographs of many places I would love to visit.I wish I could visit them in the time these photographs were taken.Especially the countries around Northern Africa,Asia,and the Middle East.Very cool,indeed.
Bobbie Martin: 17th May 2010 - 16:35 GMT
Seeing a girls' school in Iran!
Sahil Lodha: 17th May 2010 - 18:25 GMT
Merci beaucoup de nous partager ces magnifiques photos du passé...
B Fisher: 18th May 2010 - 02:21 GMT
Does anyone know if the whole collection has been digitized? Would be a great item to purchase!
Franny Wentzel: 18th May 2010 - 03:14 GMT
Many more photos are available here...
Thiyagarajan Devarajan-Kancheepuram-India: 18th May 2010 - 04:23 GMT
I love these photos. Now it is living now.Such great job
philip kealy: 18th May 2010 - 08:23 GMT
Great collection. A healthy but sometimes harsh existance....... more photos please.
anon (dsl-145-108-159.telkomadsl.co.za): 18th May 2010 - 10:20 GMT
Thank you for an amzing 'history 'lesson!
robbn the goblin : 18th May 2010 - 10:57 GMT
having the color allows for you to actually place yourself in the time and situation rather than those steriotypical black and white ones which with i find it so hard to relate, amazing
Vanessa. UK: 18th May 2010 - 19:35 GMT
Fanatstic look back at history, what a shame some people have to be bigotted and size-ist here (4 posts above), what an insult to mankind. Get a life!!
Catie: 19th May 2010 - 10:37 GMT
A lot of people are going on about how there's no fat people - but the first thing I noticed is that although many people in these photographs are poor, none of them are starving (aside from the poor woman in the box perhaps). Things are much worse for many people in poorer countries these days.
Lage: 19th May 2010 - 11:32 GMT
Catie is right. The Welfare state made people poorer. After it broke their spirit by gifting them substance rather than making them learn and work.... it turned them into
Robert Carlyle: 19th May 2010 - 15:25 GMT
Amazing collection. I found a similar archive taken between 1908-1917 in the Russian Empire www.thespektator.co.uk/spg2.html
Ravenspirit: 19th May 2010 - 19:00 GMT
OH, I love "Stumble"......Truly amazing photos, have spent hours examining them and reading the comment.
Bill: 20th May 2010 - 02:45 GMT
First time I have seen photographs of that era in color. Very entertaining. Impossible to imagine the effort and days of travel involved to secure many of those photos, a massive effort, very very time consuming. The USA photo looks almost more Canadian, however many buildings in Detroit have a similar style and roof design though ... similar architectural influences.
Alycia: 20th May 2010 - 05:23 GMT
I love this. It's so beautiful. I especially love getting to see all the people from the different countries of my ethnic background. I saw my Greek, Dutch, Irish and French cousins! It makes me think that I could be one of them back then, just chilling in Greece, Holland, Ireland, or France. lol. Now all I need is some pics of Ojibwe Indians and Germans.
LNC: 20 May 2010 - Utah, USA: 20th May 2010 - 15:23 GMT
I am currently transcribing information from old American newspapers 1906-1914. There are weekly articles that mention some of the countries shown in these photographs - how wonderful it has been to actually 'see' what the articles were describing! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful collection with all of us. My life has truly been enriched with this collection.
anon (adsl-pool-124.157.139-123.dynamic.tttmaxnet.com): 20th May 2010 - 16:58 GMT
Great stuff and clear too.
Darlene sabella: 20th May 2010 - 17:44 GMT
I love history and this is the most awesome collection, so long again, thank you for sharing your treasures with all of us.
Californian: 21st May 2010 - 05:19 GMT
Amazing Collection! I had no idea color photography existed in the early 1900s. WOW!
joshua: 21st May 2010 - 06:57 GMT
the most stunning set of pictures i have seen in a while! wow sir! i would call this set 'before time'.
Okhwa: 21st May 2010 - 09:38 GMT
truely amazing. I wished to see more countries if possible. It was a good oportunity to think about human rights in those times.
Achini: 21st May 2010 - 13:53 GMT
This is the greatest photo collection i ever seen..... Describe about every moment in the world....
crunchycat: 21st May 2010 - 15:12 GMT
The photos are wonderful, but the ignorance and malice in some of the comments is stunning.
abbes G: 21st May 2010 - 16:15 GMT
Wow how amazing the beautiful pictures are from the old time.All the countries from the whole world were at the same level, poor but human. You can see that the westeners has became richer because they colonize and vandalized a weak countires as africa and asia.it is a shame....
Angie: 21st May 2010 - 19:22 GMT
I think people are getting a bit too offended over the fat issue but I'd still like to put in my two cents :)
As one person pointed out, obesity could very well be a sign of wealth. I'd like to point out that the one larger lady, in Holland, is in a city. All the skinny, but not starving, people, are in the country. It adds a great level to live when you have to work for your food and prepare it instead of just buying it at the store and having someone make it for you. In America today (no I've never been but I'm sure this applies anyway) there are obese and non obese people. I bet majority of obese people live in cities and would have no clue about how to forage their own food. Hunting and gathering still plays a major role in many people's lives today. Many skinny people's lives that is :P
Shogi5: 21st May 2010 - 20:22 GMT
Wonderful Photos, Wonderful Initiative, Wondeful for a History Student like me! =)
The Dakota Apartments, NYC: 21st May 2010 - 23:36 GMT
The large building is the still famous and is the tony Dakota in NYC, residence to famous and rich people.
Franny Wentzel: 22nd May 2010 - 00:22 GMT
I've already mentioned that the large building - in the first image and the USA image - is the Plaza Hotel. For a long time it was a J - shaped building until the south wing was constructed in the 1920s to give it its final U shape.
Mongolian box woman: 22nd May 2010 - 00:40 GMT
> Franny Wentzel: 7th May 2010 - 23:52 GMT
> Note the empty food dishes just out of reach...
Why would you want to reach an empty food dish?
Dan Varty: 22nd May 2010 - 03:33 GMT
Canadian Pics are of Cowboys in Calgary and Georgia Hotel on Granville Street in Vancouver
Franny Wentzel: 22nd May 2010 - 08:12 GMT
Maybe they were filled and just enough in reach for the poor lady to spill them out trying to get at 'em.
Karen R.: 22nd May 2010 - 14:20 GMT
It is like a time machine, going back. It is true a picture can say a million words. Great Work!!
Jonas: 22nd May 2010 - 22:24 GMT
You know the weird thing is.. Every person you see on these pictures.. are dead..
Heather Cane: 22nd May 2010 - 22:30 GMT
Heather USA-a wonderful glimpse of the past--brings to mind, the more things change, the more they remain the same, for some parts of the world. We should consider ourselves in debt to those who have made our present day living conditions somewhat easier to copy with.
Leo: 23rd May 2010 - 11:19 GMT
full story of the picture - www.utoronto.ca/tolstoy/colorportrait.htm
Steve: 23rd May 2010 - 12:07 GMT
Wow, amazing. I like Holland, Spain and the (Royal?) couple from Vietnam the best.
@ Xinab - have you really thought your comment through? I don't have any data about capital punishment in Mongolia to hand, but for a general comparison, "of inmates on death row in the U.S. [in 2007], only 49 were women ï¿½ less than 1.5 percent." sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2007/12/should-gender-b.html Historically, executions of females in the US only account for around 2% of death sentences.
Regardless of moral or political arguments for or against the death penalty, it's very hard to see a single instance of capital punishment meted out to a female as evidence of systematic mis-treatment of women. Amnesty International have stated that executions are now carried out in secret in Mongolia, there are therefore no statistics documenting the practice. I don't see anything to back up your comment that this historical record is representative of an underlying bias against women.
Jane: 23rd May 2010 - 16:37 GMT
Are we allowed to lift any one photo.
I would really like the one in Ireland because it shows the kind of home my ancestors lived in, from old snapshots we do have.
And thank you for sharing these wonderful treasures.
octavia oakville: 23rd May 2010 - 19:29 GMT
What a beautiful collection of pictures. Makes me want to rush out with all of my 4 cameras and shoot everything in sight. Nothing beats the classical black/white photos. Frannie, wish I'd taken more pictures of Mostar but I was young and foolish travelling around. Your comments are brilliant.
anon (cblmdm24-53-132-108.buckeyecom.net): 23rd May 2010 - 22:06 GMT
Wonderful experience, these photos. Thank you!
TattieTam: 24th May 2010 - 17:22 GMT
Brilliant collection. For Jane, you could lift using "snag-it" I reckon; be nicer if you (we) could buy the book though.
chefwiley: 24th May 2010 - 18:36 GMT
Amazing collection of pic's. What a treat to be able to go back in time and see the world through this kind of imagery. Thanks for sharing this, I will pass it on to all my friends, what a find.
Gene F: 24th May 2010 - 22:38 GMT
The pictures are great:again. You must have quite acollection yourself by now. When was this put together because Sri Lanka ought to be named Ceylon?
Graham G 25th May 2010 07.36 GMT: 25th May 2010 - 06:45 GMT
I love these photos. The changes from then to now, whilst implying a familiar
Christopher Harold (Ireland): 25th May 2010 - 09:26 GMT
Truly remarkable. A fascinating glimpse into the wonders of our worlds past. It is a pity that so much has changed. Life was certainly simpler but much harder it seems.
Thanks a million for sharing this visual treat wit all of us.
José Socrates: 25th May 2010 - 12:46 GMT
Please don't let them put me in a box like that... please... please... please...
Greenmagnate: 25th May 2010 - 14:25 GMT
Great going through them. nice share and great work (whoever has done it)
Luz E Rivera: 25th May 2010 - 14:30 GMT
It's like the movie: "Back to the Future" but instead is going to the past, to the root of everything. A treasure from the past.
Lena, Sweden: 25th May 2010 - 14:59 GMT
Truly fantastic pictures! What an amazing heritage, never seen pictures from that time come to live in a way like that...
nora: 25th May 2010 - 15:20 GMT
I love the stop time windows, fabricated or not. I also find "our" comments from this time fascinating. I am curious if both were displayed 100 yrs from now what insights about 21/st century might be drawn. Along with high price of healthy diet people might have suffered from diets at the mercy of slow transport and difficulties in spoiling, at the same time most labor was hands on and there was no need or time for jogging for any common folk with out slaves,employees,or wives. I find the amount of anger&sarcasm in response to these images shared really curious.
Chasdoe: 25th May 2010 - 15:23 GMT
My Motto: Treasure every moment because after you are dead, life isn't worth living.
And there are glorious moments here to treasure.
Jeanne, Canada: 25th May 2010 - 16:54 GMT
A fascinating history in photo form. If someone were to take photographs now, in the same countries, would we see much changed in some parts of the world?
gerry feeny: 25th May 2010 - 19:59 GMT
diabolical to show these in tiny 6x4 thumbnails, what are you thinking?
Adrian D: 25th May 2010 - 21:25 GMT
I have enjoyed looking through these photo's very much. Would love to see lots more of the same.
Rajesh Nidwannaya: 26th May 2010 - 04:24 GMT
Amazing record of the past. Very fascinating to see images from a different era, from all parts of the world. Excellent collection!
Hermitbiker: 26th May 2010 - 06:34 GMT
.... a very good collection of "color" photographs from the early 1900's.... a great look back into history with these fantastic photographs !! :)
Sinbad: 26th May 2010 - 08:36 GMT
Kahn's collection was made by several photographers employed by Kahn, the collection is some 72,000 photos. It is the best of it's time.
Henning: 26th May 2010 - 17:17 GMT
re: Mick Russom: 16th May 2010 - 11:50 GMT
I think Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky predated this guy and his stuff seems to be of higher quality.
I find them to be much better than Kahn.
Voter24: 26th May 2010 - 19:42 GMT
Thank you to Franny for setting people straight about what life was really like around 1900, and to Nora for showing such empathy and awareness about glib comments being made. It was no picnic by a long shot. All of us viewing these magnificent photographs should pause and think deeply about the lives these people from around the world had to live. It was a short life for most of them and a hard, tough and barbaric life at times, even for those a bit better off. Forty two was old.
For women it was especially brutal with being little more than chattel in many nations, dying in childbirth, or dying from having ten children to care for and little help, rest, or food.Women could be condemned to death for little reason, and there was not that much justice for men in some places either. What had that poor frightened women chained in that horrid box actually done? Short of killing someone, does anyone deserve such a cruel and painful fate? And even then it is a classic example of why our magnificent Constitution ruled out cruel and unusual punishment.
Children worked from the time they were five or six. There were unsafe conditions in the mines, factories and fields for children and adults alike. They were lucky to have a day off, and not have fingers cut off. The childhoods we are fortunate enough to know didn't exist.
Women were seen and not heard in the upper classes and certainly couldn't vote or hold office unless they happened to be the daughter of a King and came to the throne. The fact that some of those shown in these enlightening photographs survived to have children, who also survived the poor sanitation, poor diet, poor housing, terrible illness, is the reason some of us are here today in this land of such plenty.
We are Americans because our great, great, great grandparents made a journey. In these illuminating photographs we can see why they dared to walk for weeks and then endure a crowded ship, when we see the conditions in which they had to try to survive. There were a few exceptions like London and Paris, but even those great cities had their sad neighborhoods and tragic living conditions.
Dickens saw it and wrote about it and while it got better by 1900, there wasn't any great leap forward around the world. To look at these remarkable photographs is to realize and be humbled by all who came before us -- of the multitude of humanity that once passed this way and are now long gone, and that some, in spite of everything against them, were able to leave their mark, be an ancestor, or find moments of joy to gladden a difficult existence.
To meet their eyes is to blink back a tear of appreciation and even awe. Kudos to Mr. Kahn for the extraordinary effort he made to travel to all these countries, when travel was a terrible hardship, especially when carrying delicate photography equipment. His eye was quite remarkable and his compositions so well done.
The Sphinx centered in the pyramid from the perfect angle. Knowing the gathering of the Maharaja's of India in all their finery would be a telling juxtaposition with the impoverished on their streets.
He has gifted us with a unique and valuable historical record, and I hope it makes those who have not previously had much interest in history realize that history is worth learning more about, because it is fascinating -- and it's the great broad shoulders of those heroic common men and women preserved in Kahn's photographs on which we stand today.
John Todd: 27th May 2010 - 01:07 GMT
This collection is amazing to think that in the past century so much of the world has changed its beautiful to see the different national costumes from a time when traveling could really be so magical and different as opposed to the modern westernized world we live in today where everyone dresses virtually the same and we can at times seem so very similar.
Lainey: 27th May 2010 - 05:08 GMT
What a wonderful and sad life, worldwide these people don't look happy. The color processing is genius.
John Feather: 27th May 2010 - 08:19 GMT
There's something about these old, bleak photos that makes me sad. It looks so depressing. The image is corny, the skies are often cloudy, there's seldom any smiles in the faces of the people. It's creepy!
Sinbad: 27th May 2010 - 08:25 GMT
Kahn's collection of photos numbers 72000 and were taken by several photographers who Kahn commissioned to take photos world wide at that time.
jim: 27th May 2010 - 16:41 GMT
i would like to dance with these people. dancing makes me happy. so does porn
John 2205: 28th May 2010 - 19:20 GMT
Stunning pictures and if anyone would like more details then there is a book The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn: Colour Photographs from a Lost Age (Hardcover)which has many of these pictures with explanations and who Kahn was - a brilliant book
Retheesh: 28th May 2010 - 19:30 GMT
really wonderful photos... worth to watch.,...thanks for sharing
Mus: 28th May 2010 - 19:50 GMT
Si no fuera por el ruido en las fotos diriamos que estamos viendo unas imagenes HD que nos pasan en la tele, blogs, periodicos, revistas
Eduardo: 28th May 2010 - 20:51 GMT
Really amazing.. wonderful pictures, and what a fantastic archive with all these pics. It has to be preserved.
Eagleclaw541: 28th May 2010 - 22:10 GMT
These photographs are exceptional in preservation. They not only tell a story but preserve the past of some indigent people of different nations. Some may look prosperous, even in the USA, unseen areas the whole world over carry their indigent people. Those places has never been a welcoming site, but true to the fact, there are still those places in existence.
Annalisa: 29th May 2010 - 04:01 GMT
The very first photo is of Collete, the fantastic French Author. The bridge in Croatia was 1000 years old, I believe and was still standing until the recent Ethnic Cleansing of the Croatia-Serbia-Bosnian war of the late 1990's. Nearly all museums have a wonderful collection of photos both historic ad modern. Not many people know that the entire collection of the Kennedy family and White House origonal photo negatives used to be kept in a shoebox under the bed of the official white house photographer, until his kids got nervous and insisted they get put in the vaults of the World Trade Centers. Now they are all completely destroyed.
Daniela: 29th May 2010 - 12:31 GMT
Truly amazing..keep up the good work! I am Macedonian, and I've been to some of the villages where those very old houses still exist. It is dangerous to go inside though, as it seems as if they are about to crush any minute. Brings back memories.
Michelle : 30th May 2010 - 05:33 GMT
I also felt that the images came to life so much when in color, much more so than previous 1900's pictures that are B&W...the ones we are accustomed to seeing.
Tony: 30th May 2010 - 12:49 GMT
Your primary reaction in looking at these pictures is feeling sorry for those who lived in this arena of time.Compare it to todays arena of existing and as you behold the progress of where we are today you somehow feel that everyone back then was better off than we are today existing with everyhing to obtain but impossible to be happy in the 21st century because of pure hatred and anxiety thruout the world.All animal life is probably happy but its sad to know that man is also killing and plundering into their realm of diminishing.
gene b.: 30th May 2010 - 17:29 GMT
I am with the person who wants to return to the 1900 and stay there. Ther photo of the dutch woman and man in costume was my faorit. These bits of past cultures will neve be seen again in such thrilling photos. The city with the cthedreal and the bombed surroundings !What a trip through time. A true Time Machine by the artist. Why did he to it any way ?
Franny Wentzel: 30th May 2010 - 20:31 GMT
If you want to live the 1900s lifestyle, head on over to Amish county. They pretty much keep the old ways...
zafer: 30th May 2010 - 21:38 GMT
The bridge in Bosnia is famous Mostar Bridge. It was built in 1566 during Ottoman rule by Mimar Hayrudin, a student of the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. Since it was destroyed by Croatian artillery in 1993 , reconstructed after the war. By the way, Mostar was named after "the bridge keepers".
Mark: 1st Jun 2010 - 08:54 GMT
Looking at the buildings in the far east etc and looking at the picture of New York isn't it amazing how advanced western civilisation was and still is. I bet Mongolia and other places have not changed one bit.
JohnK59PGH: 1st Jun 2010 - 17:52 GMT
These are fantastic in their clarity for the most part - like taken in the last decade rather than 100 yrs ago!
rob: 1st Jun 2010 - 21:24 GMT
I thought this included pictures from all the countries worldwide - where is there one of Scotland
Mimi: 2nd Jun 2010 - 02:35 GMT
The people we are looking at lived their lives without giving a second's thought to the many fools who would be looking at them a century later. How many of us will stand the test of relevance 100 years from now? They lived, they died. And so do we, maybe with less honesty and presence.
berlinartist: 2nd Jun 2010 - 19:06 GMT
when I was a kid I asked my dad if he could remember when the world turned from black and white to colour. He just looked at me and shook his head in disbelief.
lee: 3rd Jun 2010 - 00:38 GMT
i noticed the sphinx doesn't seem to have front legs or paws....yet.hmm
anon (22.214.171.124): 3rd Jun 2010 - 04:31 GMT
The sphinx feet were burried in sand. Yes. What of Kenya?
Naumadd: 3rd Jun 2010 - 08:18 GMT
An incredible treasure of the human record. It's extremely important this collection is digitized and made available to the world at large and I'm anxious to see much more. What always strikes me when I see old photos, particularly those with labels or hope of labels is the fact that, in many instances, the photo is quite likely the only record the person(s) in them ever lived at all. Considering the pricelessness that is each of us, one can see such photos as great fortunes and great tragedies in one. No one should be forgotten, no one, and their stories ought to be kept and told whenever one can. We as a culture are learning to make such record, but we've still much to learn and make habit in that regard.
Gray bear: 3rd Jun 2010 - 12:21 GMT
AL: 3rd Jun 2010 - 15:20 GMT
pinguino: 3rd Jun 2010 - 18:24 GMT
I loved seeing everyone naturally in their native dress. It's so sad that countries have lost that part of their culture for the most part, these days.
Lary Bremner, Koriyama Japan: 3rd Jun 2010 - 23:32 GMT
Clearly the Canada pic is the original Vancouver Hotel and the corner is Georgia and Burrard.
Chelle: 4th Jun 2010 - 04:42 GMT
Wow, what an incredible collection! I really liked the native dress as well pinguino.
mahyar: 4th Jun 2010 - 07:22 GMT
just only iran . look the photo of iran . you can see and undrestand more things about iranian calcures .
Lucie: 4th Jun 2010 - 08:29 GMT
These are truly breathtaking... I find myself wanting to visit every one of these places now, and wishing for the past. It seems like the further we get with technology the more we lose ourselves... These people had hard lives, but they were happy...
Truly amazing collection.
hazysunshine: 4th Jun 2010 - 09:33 GMT
great photos, and well worth a visit to the Albert Kahn website where the images are labelled and dated as well. Fascinating
James: 4th Jun 2010 - 14:04 GMT
"These are really increadible! The quality is unbelievable for that era."
The quality is "incredible" for that era. because these were edited and touched up in the current one.
They didnt "catch" it, as much as it was touched up more recently.
"Wow this is amazing! It's hard to believe that these photos are so old, the look like they are quite new!"
Again, they were clearly touched up very recently, film didnt have this much resolving power back then, at least until you
add the scanning/digital processing software of today.
anon (c-68-82-48-32.hsd1.pa.comcast.net): 4th Jun 2010 - 15:16 GMT
Angie: 21st May 2010 - 19:22 GMT
Not true about America and obesity. In general there's overweight people EVERYWHERE. That's what happens when fast food overtakes the world. Why take 45 mins to cook dinner when you can have some teenager make you a burger in 30 seconds? Lazy American's is right. You would think in this day and age the obesity problem would be left to the suburban types since they typically HAVE to drive everywhere, where as in the cities (the older northeast ones anyways) people would be skinnier just due to walking more. Sadly that's not true either because people just walk to McDonalds and that walk is not burning off nearly enough calories.
fidelia: 4th Jun 2010 - 15:51 GMT
fantastic collection - it is a pity that there are no photos e.q. from Hungary - here you are one
fidelia: 4th Jun 2010 - 15:53 GMT
it was the original building of the St. Marguerite High school (it is almost the same nowadays, too - thx God)
ash: 4th Jun 2010 - 16:03 GMT
did anyone notice the blurry guy in the right corner of the picture from morocco?
anon (126.96.36.199.pldt.net): 4th Jun 2010 - 22:09 GMT
Great collection. Wish there were photos from the Philippines.
Blah: 5th Jun 2010 - 01:38 GMT
I really enjoyed this post! Too bad my experience was ruined by the completely irrelevant comments on fat people. I can't believe how much animosity some people have for the overweight. It's really weird for someone to get so upset they want other people to die over something that's really none of their concern. It must be like homophobia, where you want fat people to die because you are afraid of being fat...or you are already a fat and self-loathing troll.
fruitty: 5th Jun 2010 - 17:31 GMT
this is just beautiful! i am also glad to have stumbled upon this site. This is a perfect site. I was looking for something like that. i am also glad that there is one picture of Switzerland.. my home country. Perfect! Thank you so much for preserving our past :)
nanaboss: 5th Jun 2010 - 20:32 GMT
Wonderful look at the styles of the times. Thank you for those who clarified facts of color photography.
Maurizio from Milan: 6th Jun 2010 - 11:07 GMT
Amazing this bath in the past, many thanks to friend Safwan who forwarded
George: 6th Jun 2010 - 17:38 GMT
Amazing article! Wonderfull pictures. However i have to complain about the foto of macedonia. There is no country with that name so i quess you mean the small country in balkans named FYROM (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Unless you mean the greek region of macedonia but still it should writte below the foto 'Macedonia, Greece'.
Franny Wentzel: 6th Jun 2010 - 22:00 GMT
In re-posting these, I went by the label under the photo as I originally found them. At any rate 'FYROM' is a name imposed on Macedonia from the outside for legalistic reasons.
Simon: 6th Jun 2010 - 23:00 GMT
Great pics! But I agree with George: there is no country called Macedonia, only a region.. There is a heavy dispute between Greece and FYROM about the latter using this name.
Sharon K. 6th of Jun 2010: 7th Jun 2010 - 01:11 GMT
Incredible photos. So many interesting subjects in these pictures. The woman punished in the "box" is tragic.
Luis: 7th Jun 2010 - 02:51 GMT
wow, that's incredible those photographs are so vivid, they look like there were taken recently rather than the 1900's.
junbug20: 7th Jun 2010 - 05:02 GMT
Life seemed to have so much meanining in those days, the traditional dress, the look of pride of who you were, the only disturbing thing is the cruel way that mongolion woman had to starve like that, I wonder what she ever could have done to deserve such a thing? after that photo was exposed to the world I hope that practice stopped.
Jack: 7th Jun 2010 - 08:22 GMT
FYROM is the name of the country according to the UN. Ofcourse the dispute over the name is with Greece beacause Macedonia is a region and Greece owns the largest part of this region. Under the same logic FYROM could be renamed as 'Europe' or 'Balkans' because it belongs in both regions.
ndrak: 7th Jun 2010 - 08:43 GMT
There is not a country named "Macedonia"
ndrak: 7th Jun 2010 - 08:46 GMT
but probably this os a photo from Macedonia, Greece.
scrz: 7th Jun 2010 - 12:04 GMT
@ndrak: As you can see, Kahn wrote the name of the country on the border of every other photograph he took. Let's not drag an old Greek political dispute into this otherwise mind-expanding collection; Kahn obviously thought he was in a country or area named Macedonia. Changing that to say FYROM or Greece would be no less than destroying his historically accurate depiction of what was real at that time.
Carlos: 7th Jun 2010 - 12:09 GMT
Fantastic Photos, too bad none of these include ANY latin America Country.
trevor: 7th Jun 2010 - 12:12 GMT
the reason no one is smiling is because the exposure time with those cameras was extremely long, you had to stand infront of the camera not moving for a very long time or else it would be blurry. People didn't want to hold a smile for that long of a time, and also by the time the picture was actually done being taken you were probably in no mood to smile anyway. c'mon i thought everyone knew that.
Ion Ion: 7th Jun 2010 - 16:19 GMT
am I the only one who found the Norwegian woman hot? God, the things I would have done to her with my penis.. hubba hubba
Jack: 7th Jun 2010 - 17:49 GMT
G3: 7th Jun 2010 - 21:46 GMT
On the no-smile issue: One thing that's often forgotten is that the early photographic technology required very long exposures (many seconds). It was customary to assume an expression that you could hold steady for a lengthy time, ergo very little smiling which is a temporary use of a lot of facial muscles.
Mike: 7th Jun 2010 - 21:46 GMT
Hmmm, an outstanding record of times past. It makes you wonder how on earth future generations are going to view our current archives of all digital imagery once the technology evolves to incompatible systems. Nothing quite like hard copy.
jetfighter: 8th Jun 2010 - 00:51 GMT
I'm speechless. The artistic beauty of these photographs is beyond words. Thank you.
Christos: 8th Jun 2010 - 07:39 GMT
There is not a country called "Macedonia"
Tardus et definitus,: 8th Jun 2010 - 07:50 GMT
Hans, totally demeaning of you to turn this remarkable photographic "story" into a social issue. To the idiot who made such foul remarks regarding the Dutch lady, I hope you are now incarcerated. You need treatment!
Thank you to whomsoever compiled this historical montage.
Brother Charlie: 8th Jun 2010 - 10:42 GMT
Thank you, Franny, for this glimpse into Monsieur Kahn's legacy (and a posthumous merci bien to the gentleman, as well!). Just this brief sampling of images from a time long past is indeed a compelling presentation.
After reading all the posts thus far, though, I find no suggestions about why "ghosts" appear in the Ireland and Morocco images, commented on by a couple of posters. That's surprising to me because others *have* mentioned the long exposure times needed back then (as one possibility of why people "weren't smiling"). I reckon the "ghosts" look that way for a similar reason: they weren't immobile long enough for the camera to register a more solid image. One sees the same effect regularly in US Civil War daguerreotypes, for instance.
So - yes, these are poignant moments captured, of a far different time; when far fewer of us were "metropolized"; when a wooden wheel remained at the cutting edge of technology for many; and a time when, if it had not fewer village idiots, going about saying aloud anything at all that came to their tortured minds, then they (and the provocateurs, bigots and simply naughty children) were less a burden on the community for their lack of an unfettered global forum. Alack, and alas!
anon (188.8.131.52.bti.net.ph): 8th Jun 2010 - 10:49 GMT
I like the girl's photo..a caring soul amidst war?
SS: 8th Jun 2010 - 15:14 GMT
Enchanting photos. Seeing them in color gives you a brand new appreciation for a way of life gone-by. It's like a clear window into the past.
G-le: 9th Jun 2010 - 10:34 GMT
great view of the past :)
about Macedonia: oh no, we must go back in time and tell Albert he mislabeled his photo :)
Nannae Kapoor: 9th Jun 2010 - 14:04 GMT
It is too fantastic to express in words. Many things have not changed inspite of the progress the world has made since these pictures. Lovely collections wish you would make it into a book will be worth all the money to gat hold of a copy
Franny Wentzel: 9th Jun 2010 - 14:48 GMT
As a matter of fact...
tabbyred: 9th Jun 2010 - 19:16 GMT
AMAZING PICTURES!!! Does anyone see Ireland Picture....look like there is a ghost girl?
Jocelyne: 10th Jun 2010 - 02:22 GMT
Franny Wentzel: 10th Jun 2010 - 10:19 GMT
The Eiffel Tower joined the picture at the Exposition Universelle (1889).
Bobbee Kapoor: 10th Jun 2010 - 12:40 GMT
I am a vivid photogragher, right from the days of the Kodak`s `Brownie box` to the rollei and then on to the kodakchrome of 35 mm and today to the digitals. These photos are wonderful, I wish I had kept my monochrome and kodakchrome negatives. In our days photography was a costly hobby and I still relish the old colour prints sitting with my children and grandchildren.
luaclara: 10th Jun 2010 - 18:04 GMT
Traveling in time with these pictures. Unfortunately, ideas like the ones Hans posted are still being produced....even when history shows the disaster they create...
anon (dsl-187-153-153-248-dyn.prod-infinitum.com.mx): 11th Jun 2010 - 03:10 GMT
EVERYTHING IS SAID ABOVE....BUT I ENJOYED THE CUSTOMS OF THE PEOPLE, THEIR DRESSES AND COATS....THIS TELLS A LOT ABOUT THEIR LIVES AND CUSTUMES....GREAT TO TAKE A LOOK INTO THE PAST....SAD ALSO....US POOR FEMALES....HOW COULD THEY LIVE A LONG A HAPPY LIFE....NO FOOD, NO SANITARY CONDITIONS, NO MEDICINE...AND LIKE ALWAYS....TOO MANY CHILDREN EAGER TO EAT....POOR WOMEN
email@example.com: 11th Jun 2010 - 09:34 GMT
I want to buy some of these photos in HD. How I can do? Thanks for response.M
jill: 11th Jun 2010 - 12:05 GMT
i love these pictures... gives me a view of the past of different countries... very nice indeed.
David: 11th Jun 2010 - 12:05 GMT
MacSmiley: 10th May 2010 - 19:34 GMT
A "FEW" photos from the collection?? Are you sure you didn't just scrape the entire website?
Yes a few, Albert kahn shot some 72000 autochrome photographs.
Nancy Giordano: 11th Jun 2010 - 12:53 GMT
Wow! This is time travel at some of its best. Have we really changed so much? what an amazing artist and human!
Chris: 11th Jun 2010 - 15:08 GMT
Very interesting collection here. The world was quite a different place 100 years ago!
Hampton: 12th Jun 2010 - 11:32 GMT
As a history teacher I think showing these (versus black and whites) to my classes may make them realize that history isn't just something in books. Color somehow makes it real. I've always tried to picture the past in color and somehow I found it difficult. This is wonderful!
Rajinder Jassal: 12th Jun 2010-12:30 GMT: 12th Jun 2010 - 13:26 GMT
truly amazing. what a passion 4 one person 2 do it. god bless him. may some people do it now 4 future something similar. amen.
IceKiwi: 12th Jun 2010 - 18:37 GMT
Figures it'd be Greeks to dispute historically accurate photographs by a photographer that's travelled the whole world snapping these amazing photos. Obviously there was a country by that name, otherwise it would've said differently on the photo. Get over yourselves!
lloorr11: 12th Jun 2010 - 22:55 GMT
if there truly is a woman dieng in the heat~~starving~ how can you take a portrait of that without helping her~~~unless she got help
SV: 13th Jun 2010 - 03:41 GMT
truly inspiring and very touching.... the woman condemned to live in that box should be a record of mans many cruelties in this world. i agree with lloor too.... some pics are delightful.... human accomplishments[largely cultural diversity] and his errors have been brought out colorfully in the above pics.... :)
vangelakas: 13th Jun 2010 - 07:35 GMT
about macedonia. please try (it's not difficult @ all!) to read a kind of historical book! You will clarify that macedonia (during the period of the photo)wasn't a country! It was a region between greece, yugoslavia and bulgary. So, we don't know if these people of the photo were greeks, yogoslavian or bulgarians. Really simple. So long and thanks for the fish!
Maggie: 13th Jun 2010 - 12:26 GMT
Gosh, have you even been to China, Laura? Do you at least watch world news?
iamathias: 13th Jun 2010 - 12:58 GMT
Analog color has always been, and will always be, way more emotional than its digital counterpart. :)
R Vasudevan: 14th Jun 2010 - 11:09 GMT
The pictures take you back in time when things were simple & sensible which brought serenity all around. You dont see any restlessness or rush any where.
Franny Wentzel: 14th Jun 2010 - 19:41 GMT
Things were never simple or sensible. The world was always going to hell in a handbasket. Even then people were waxing nostalgic about the 'good old days'.
Given that the early 1900s was the era of mass immigration to the Americas, restlessness was pretty much a given for that age.
Paul B: 14th Jun 2010 - 20:03 GMT
Very interesting, but life still looks the same, people killing people. I do like clogs on the Dutch couple. Not much changes just the way we do them.
Edna Johnson: 15th Jun 2010 - 03:06 GMT
I found the pictures amazing. And amazing photo's that you have in color! Yes some think they were 'touched up photo's' but they still were very good. Thank you.
Deepsctm: 15th Jun 2010 - 08:25 GMT
really exciting,thanks to all those who are concerned.if somebody have few more...of the same kind, pls add to the collection.nice to see history on frames.
Finola Walsh: 15th Jun 2010 - 19:48 GMT
Fantastic record of how people lived : of course life wasnt bad for every one & its the same today !
Franny Wentzel: 16th Jun 2010 - 12:52 GMT
Here is the section on Brasil...
And their section on the USA...
Franny Wentzel: 17th Jun 2010 - 02:58 GMT
No I didn't. Country captions are underneath the pictures they represent.
Macros48: 18th Jun 2010 - 16:59 GMT
I find the photos intriguing however some of the comments from our european friends are quite disgusting. They look at the rich history and uniqueness of these photos and all they can comment on is the people of the US being overweight and the slight possibility of people having boners! What a wonderful way to show your ignorance. In the future why not keep those comments to yourself, and just enjoy the history, my god what a bunch of idiots!
slese: 18th Jun 2010 - 17:38 GMT
Hey Eric: 11th May 2010 - 15:55 GMT Maybe people in my part of the
Mehrul khattak: 18th Jun 2010 - 19:37 GMT
The pictures are so real ,in fact they are heart touching .Good work.Thanks.
Franny Wentzel: 23rd Jun 2010 - 08:15 GMT
Whoa! Just passed the million hits mark! Thanks to everyone that visited this over the last few weeks.
Franny Wentzel: 23rd Jun 2010 - 08:26 GMT
BTW... I've been able to round up over 500 colour images from the French National Archives for a post on World War One in colour for a encore...
Here's a taste...
Canadam: 24th Jun 2010 - 19:53 GMT
@ James: 4th Jun 2010 - 14:04 GMT
The quality comes from the size of photographic plate used (not film - note the 'cracked' image - the glass plate had broken) not any modern digital processing. I used to use a cheap old 'bellows camera' back in the 80's with 2.25" square film and the quality of results was better than anything I've used since.
Diversearbetaren: 26th Jun 2010 - 14:44 GMT
Someone put the link here on my Face Book page for which I certainly am thankful!
Helge, Stockholm Sweden
ali: 28th Jun 2010 - 19:45 GMT
the irish women in the red outfit was staged.. it was taken in that era in the claddagh county galway but it is a model in the picture.. irish women at the time could defintly not afford clothes that richly dyed or as fancy
anon (74-126-244-5.rg0007.fcrdns.net): 29th Jun 2010 - 03:11 GMT
its amazing to see the past in color. it makes it feel more tangible, less surreal.
Lucille: 15th Jul 2010 - 02:28 GMT
Kind of a curiosity here, but...
Reading the names in French on the sides of the photographs, it seems you have gotten some wrong. One picture says "Inde" and you wrote "Sri Lanka," and another picture says "Pays bas" which I'm pretty sure is the Netherlands, not Holland. Just saying.
Franny Wentzel: 15th Jul 2010 - 04:15 GMT
Sri Lanka was the name on the photo I uploaded. At the time the picture was taken India and Sri Lanka were part of the British Empire which would account for the 'Inde' labelling.
The Netherlands and Holland refer to the same country - whose people are often called the Dutch.
jayantilal: 15th Jul 2010 - 16:48 GMT
excellent pictures -its a rare sight to see such valuable collection
Franny Wentzel: 18th Jul 2010 - 01:52 GMT
Maybe the robot in the cupboard will fix that mispelling...
...or maybe not. It's out of my hands.
~*IndigoJade*~: 18th Jul 2010 - 18:39 GMT
These pictures were amazing. They were also very sad in some...Couldn't you feel the pain that some of these pictures hold? Fat or skinny...Tall or short...Rich or poor...It doesn't matter we are all humans, we are all one...we may see things differently and grow knowing diff. lifestyles but we should never take joy in someone elses pain. However I must say on an Artistic level, no matter how much positive or negative the image showed, the art the beauty found deep within the picture was just amazing and deep.
Franny Wentzel: 22nd Jul 2010 - 07:28 GMT
At the time these were taken the Czech and Slovak republics were either a part of Germany or a part of the Austria-Hungary conglom...
EH: 28th Jul 2010 - 20:59 GMT
wow these are great, i especially liked the English pictures, it reminds me of pictures that my nan showed me of her mother
shelly: 30th Jul 2010 - 15:51 GMT
these insights into our past are very descriptive-----thanks for the time and effort you spent on this for me to enjoy-----AWESOME JOB!!!! history effects us all no matter where we live or when we were born---we can all reflect on what was and what is now ----it is a humbling experience to say the least ----thanks again
Aimee: 30th Jul 2010 - 16:47 GMT
It felt a little surreal getting such a broad glimpse of the people of the world. What individuality and beauty - I think God must be pleased w his creations :)
mc: 30th Jul 2010 - 16:52 GMT
These are amazing and touching. Many seem quite private, by today's standards. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that when I think about any period prior to the 1950's, the images in my mind are usually black & white. Maybe that will change now.
Frank: 30th Jul 2010 - 17:09 GMT
Extraordinary. Seeing these photos feels in many cases like stepping into a Conrad or Hardy novel.
Ron Ellis: 30th Jul 2010 - 17:33 GMT
An impressive collection that makes this mid-century man feel more connected to the last turn of the century than before. I find myself noticing how different things are now (2010) and how similar they were then (1909). Do you?
Ron Ellis: 30th Jul 2010 - 17:35 GMT
Just above the S.F. Ssint Francis circa 1900. And here a seen in the bay...
anon (cpe-66-65-144-153.nyc.res.rr.com): 30th Jul 2010 - 17:44 GMT
what's with the description of the photographer as a ``French-Jewish Capitalist?"
jan: 30th Jul 2010 - 17:45 GMT
I believe that the first photo is Colette. If the third is Thomas Mann, as someone proposed, who is number 3? Astonishing collection. It is like at looking, not just another time, but an entire other world. "Time traveler" boy in the red fleece in the Morocco picture is eerie and wonderful. Thanks for the nourishment of these memorable photos.
Norman: 30th Jul 2010 - 18:54 GMT
I wonder if we'll look as oddly quaint in 90 years or so...? What will our wooden box legacy be in retrospect?
anon (173-216-109-124-cart.mid.suddenlink.net): 30th Jul 2010 - 21:12 GMT
I dont know none of them look to real to me. and it is hard for me to believe he traveled that much back then.
Julio: 30th Jul 2010 - 21:23 GMT
"Pays bas" could refer to the Basque Country, although their dress does not look like traditional Basque clothing.
historydude: 30th Jul 2010 - 21:55 GMT
Wow, very nice collection, and the woman from Iraq dressed in blue and carrying the vase/jug?
The photo of Norway reminds me a lot of some of the small towns in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
sally: 31st Jul 2010 - 00:00 GMT
So glad someone took the time, fascinating to look into those pictures. Thank you for sharing
Billie: 31st Jul 2010 - 01:08 GMT
These are great. So glad I found this site! I have been going through tons of old family photos from late 19th century Asia. We have family documents from back then, too. This vintage stuff is so cool! And to see the clothing and jewelry that people wore!!
Can anyone confirm that the Sphinx was already completely excavated c. 1929? I don't believe that it was as exposed then as it is now. I could be wrong.
ov: 31st Jul 2010 - 04:52 GMT
Brilliant pictures. But some of you need to get out of your basements more. An incredible record of the past and all you can do is comment about the lack of fat people?!
Does Not Matter: 31st Jul 2010 - 07:51 GMT
What a wonderful collection of pictures. How nice that someone got to see all of this first hand. How sad that so many commets were suggesting that the pictures were fake, not of the time as shown, not of the pictures or places that you wanted to see. Why not just enjoy what is here to see. I could say more, but why.....as you can see from the comments.....PEOPLE ARE STILL THE SAME AS THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN!
Dr. John Harding: 31st Jul 2010 - 16:05 GMT
Just a beautiful cross-section of what the world was like 'back in the day' (hate that phrase, but it does put things in perspective!) In some photos, the colouring looked selective, kind of like what some contemporary commercials do to highlight one part of a shot. The changes that MAN has made over the intervening years are daunting,
Matthew Bourgeois: 31st Jul 2010 - 17:42 GMT
Thanks for the post! Getting to see the images from around the globe in the early 1900s in color was a real treat! I'll be sure to retweet.
Terrance J. Lanning: 31st Jul 2010 - 20:57 GMT
The most remarkable old photographs I've ever seen. My great uncle shot for the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, newspaper at the turn of the 20th century. I have one glass negative--a poor coal miner's family seated on the steps of their ramshackle house--but it's black and white, as were all his images. I have his camera, which itself is almost like a work of art. The major differences between then and now: we travel and communicate faster. Beyond that, the human condition hasn't changed!
MM: 1st Aug 2010 - 00:30 GMT
I think these photos are amazing. Black and white versions of the same photos would be just as amazing but the color gives them an eerie, in the moment quality. Often with black and white it's easier for me to feel an emotional disconnectedness to the subject. Here, in color, I find it easier to place myself in the scene...
Just one question to any WWI historian. In the 7th WWI picture, what is the lectern-like structure? My guess is some sort of lookout... Anyone know?
bertosh: 2nd Aug 2010 - 01:05 GMT
What an archive! Certainly an outstanding work and legacy. Sceanery, approch lighting and colour processing couldn´t be better, not to mention the beauty and love perceived in even the saddest of them; these photographs tell so much in such a transparent way!
Yoka: 2nd Aug 2010 - 17:22 GMT
Being a portrait painter, I poured over every precious photograph...losing myself in time! Then I read the comments, every single one...wow! The photograph of the Dutch couple from The Netherlands, my birth country, looks more typical of the dress of that day, not at all a fancy dress. The lady would have worn a starched lace cap, whose sides would have flounced out, with red coral beads around her neck. They still wear wooden shoes today in the country because they keep your feet warm and dry along with woolen socks. Thank you for sharing this wonderful collection with us!
Yoka: 2nd Aug 2010 - 17:30 GMT
I looked at the photos again and realize the Dutch lady is wearing a cap with flounced sides...but her dress is not fancy as the typical ones would be of that time. There are still villages in Holland today (Marken and Volendam) where they wear the same dress style...not neccessarily for tourists but like the Amish or Mennonites do today.
Dawn Marie G.: 2nd Aug 2010 - 17:33 GMT
What a fantastic body of work! They're all beautiful though the starving mongolian woman is especially gripping. Must have been brutal to only document the event. I mean, I assume he was not allowed to help her. Horrible. Unimaginable. But a beautiful photo.
demonyc: 2nd Aug 2010 - 23:02 GMT
we've all seen historic photos, but the guaranteed accurate color location brings sense and life to the scenes, especially interiors and costumes. some are mostly white with touches of solid color, some are richly patterened and deeply colored rather than degrees of gray, which separates objects to a much more interesting degree than monochrome. many costumes seem already anachronistic by that time such as holland or common but rapidly disappearing such as iran and vietnam. the switzerland photo seems to be a historic festival which, while not comtemporary, gives a taste of a real scene even farther back in time. the foxhole is fascinating because it seems immediate and refreshingly de-mythologized. i shall go back to my books on matisse still lifes and delacroix watercolors. www.google.com/images?oe=UTF-8&gfns=1&q=watercolors%20delacroix&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1173&bih=591
demonyc: 2nd Aug 2010 - 23:06 GMT
and the two women at the top of the page are especially fascinating because you absolutely know they have dressed themselves in the latest fashion and don't see it as period costume. we see them perhaps at their most beautiful moment. and even though the woman with the dog seems to be not having her best day, she's determined to be seen dressed well.
Franny Wentzel: 2nd Aug 2010 - 23:40 GMT
Lady with the dog is the French authoress Colette
fartash: 3rd Aug 2010 - 08:04 GMT
great pics and the one with little girl sitting beside guns ( one of war photo ) made me sad the war made many many of them orphans
paul: 3rd Aug 2010 - 22:19 GMT
For the people asking earlier, the Canadian picture is taken in Vancouver, not Montreal.
2010 USA: 4th Aug 2010 - 06:30 GMT
Sort of reminds me of Terry Schiavo.
Welcome to the future. But they'll call it for your own good or for the good of society.
bob: 4th Aug 2010 - 15:20 GMT
I'm surprised more of the Europeans aren't fat. Obviously today most Europeans are very fat fat, Europe is the fattest place on Earth.
Doraemon: 4th Aug 2010 - 16:14 GMT
The one marked "Vietnam" (6670) looks more like China because of the Chinese writings on the wall. So are the second and third photos (5532 and 7302) above. Or, could those be Chinese people and buildings in Vietnam at the time?
didmoskita♥: 4th Aug 2010 - 19:40 GMT
KE BELLAS ESTAN ♥º•:.•:º♥ ME GUSTARON UN BUEEENNNNN :D ♥
2010 USA: 4th Aug 2010 - 21:06 GMT
Plus she had to live and die in her own urine and feces.
Someone should tell Oliver Stone about how they carried out death sentences in Mongolia. Maybe he would make a movie or miniseries about how we who decide that it is a disgusting thing to do are "judgemental" and how we need to "be educated" and the people who thought it up, decided on it, and carried it through, are being misunderstood, and only he can understand them. (sarc) With his talent, he might even be able to blame it on the US, on Israel, or on the Jews.
Betty 5th Aug.2010. Australia.: 5th Aug 2010 - 01:12 GMT
Fantastic photos.never seen anything like these before.
anon (173-20-190-171.client.mchsi.com): 7th Aug 2010 - 19:40 GMT
Amazing, absolutely amazing. This has to be one of the most real and poignant collections of photography I have ever seen.
mascu: 9th Aug 2010 - 13:58 GMT
The photos are simply stunning...then the commentary after provides another interesting look at humanity. Special thanks to all who provide a glimmer of hope!
LeahG13: 12th Aug 2010 - 00:05 GMT
They are awsome, particularly because of the age..has there been a book or video published on them? I am curious to know, as would love a copy if such a book exists..
Franny Wentzel: 12th Aug 2010 - 01:27 GMT
michael velez: 12th Aug 2010 - 03:45 GMT
simply amazing. modern technology looking back at ancient technology... how do we gage the greatness of one to the other? how as humans do we grapple with the fact that the more the world changes, the more it stays the same? these are the cave drawings of our modern era; i hope we find them as incredible in 3010 if we allow it.
Franny Wentzel: 12th Aug 2010 - 08:36 GMT
They'll probably wonder what the f+++ was up with all the lolcats pictures. Was it some sort of religeous cult thing?
anon (222-152-170-182.jetstream.xtra.co.nz): 16th Aug 2010 - 09:59 GMT
Shame the western homogising machine .... has taken the wonderous variety of cultural dress codes and turned us all into jeans and Ts.... or suits or prada what ever it is...
Robert Markovetz: 16th Aug 2010 - 22:16 GMT
Fascinating photography. The World War 1 photos are an interesting insight into France during that time period.
Sam and Muriel: 21st Aug 2010 - 15:17 GMT
great pictures. asinine comments from many of the commentators, alas.
Ashok Chauhan - Ahmedabad: 25th Aug 2010 - 06:45 GMT
Amazing collection !! Photo of Indian Raj-Maharajas is marvellous, some historian should place the names of the kings and their kingdoms
Dont you FYR its Macedonia : 25th Aug 2010 - 19:15 GMT
The picture of Greece looks more like Albanians, and the picture from Macedonia is taken in Macedonia. Architecture like that wont be found in Greece, simple as that.
lisbeth: 28th Aug 2010 - 08:04 GMT
So great to see these pictures! The only country that still look the same is India! You can still today take the same picture.
Franny Wentzel: 2nd Sep 2010 - 14:56 GMT
They'd be a better nation if Chaka Khan was their ruler...
DDA: 4th Sep 2010 - 02:36 GMT
Just finished reading Time and Again by Jack Finney and with the viewing of these spectacular photos I'm ready to time travel!
Julian Sherab,Byron Bay,Australia: 9th Sep 2010 - 03:47 GMT
Wonderful,breathtaking shots of captured moments in time,makes me think of simple days long gone,like a world wide family tree.
Irv: 11th Sep 2010 - 01:55 GMT
James: these autochromes don't need to be digitally 'enhanced' - the autochrome process produced far more realistic and accurate colors than modern films.
Elsablue: 13th Sep 2010 - 19:08 GMT
Absolutely fantastic photos. Glad I went stumbling this morning.
Karen Thomason: 19th Sep 2010 - 23:28 GMT
Thanks! I enjoyed every single second I spent looking at you photography. Educational and interesting!
sallem: 20th Sep 2010 - 20:50 GMT
Precious: 21st Sep 2010 - 03:50 GMT
Wow! Great pictures. Made me wander into the past and get lost in it for awhile,. but it's also sad to know that all these folks have come and gone. The pictures speak a lot of how they would have spent their lives. I wonder how many of them made it to Heaven.
LeRoy Apopka Fla.: 25th Sep 2010 - 03:00 GMT
One of the most inspiring set of photos from the past i have seen,would love to visit those places now.
Elle: 25th Sep 2010 - 03:06 GMT
The mongolian woman in the box made me feel sad...
Scarlett_156: 26th Sep 2010 - 00:11 GMT
The reason I use Stumbleupon so much is that I find really cool pages like this. I spent some time looking at these fascinating images--and some more time reading the not-quite-fascinating-but-still-somewhat-interesting comments left by visitors to the page.
The images are a shock to both body and mind, like time-travel in a way, and as someone else observed the colors do make them more "real" and visceral so that we can relate to them better. The comments, not the images, are what add an element of sadness, as people struggle to make sense of/rationalize the directness of the pictures against the distance of time.
Adel: 28th Sep 2010 - 19:30 GMT
Pictures from a time when the world, the clothes and the buildings actually looked different in different places. If one should take photos in the same settings today everyone would probably were the same jeans, drink Coca cola and there would be the same advertises on every wall. globalisation is
Chella: 2nd Oct 2010 - 00:29 GMT
I have digested these wonderful pics, and all the comments, and I would like to regurgitate the following words into cyberspace:
1. The woman in a box is haunting and horrifying.
anon (173.145.31-93.rev.gaoland.net): 2nd Oct 2010 - 23:12 GMT
I think the photoes tapped as "Vietnam" must be taken in China with the Daoism, Chinese caligraphy, Beikin opera and chinese traditional woman in the house. Please take a look, I hope that I didn't make a mistake..
Franny Wentzel: 3rd Oct 2010 - 00:45 GMT
The Tonkin region of Vietnam borders - and at points of history was a part of - China so a strong Chinese cultural influence is to be expected.
Ruben: 5th Oct 2010 - 13:26 GMT
Seems not only the Dutch wear clogs or in dutch klompen in that time, seems French fishermen also wore them.
Dave: 8th Oct 2010 - 19:42 GMT
Amazing collection! A wonderful adjunct to Prokudin-Gorsky's tricolors from a similar period.
And I'm completely in love with that little Iraqi girl in the blue jacket...
anon (184.108.40.206): 9th Oct 2010 - 17:40 GMT
It is just super interesting seeing all of the places and how they were living at the exact same time in one record. That's really neat.
anon (c-71-238-20-52.hsd1.mi.comcast.net): 11th Oct 2010 - 18:25 GMT
Jack (11 Oct 2010) 2;22 pm DST
The pictures are remarkable considering the age of them. Many of the comments are really interesting and show some knowledge of art and photographs.
Maggie: 12th Oct 2010 - 14:22 GMT
Wouldn't the Mongolian woman have died of thirst first? I hope so. I will never forgot that photo.
Yenny (Spain): 12th Oct 2010 - 20:49 GMT
Thanks for this amazing time travel..... just breath taking.... Muchas gracias!!... Sólo puedo decir que es fascinante!!
vijay (Hyderabad, India): 22nd Oct 2010 - 07:17 GMT
A great act of preservation of ancient civilization.
anon (119-224-61-234.callplus.net.nz): 23rd Oct 2010 - 02:51 GMT
I like the vietnamese woman on the nod with her opium pipe.
Bob Kelso: 25th Oct 2010 - 16:44 GMT
"In the early part of the 20th century French-Jewish capitalist Albert Kahn..."
Tim Hayes: 25th Oct 2010 - 17:30 GMT
Thank you for this wonderful glimpse of history. Color makes all the difference. I grew up believing as a small child that the past was only in black and white and very dark. Now it has life, brightness and expression and looks just like the present!
Cosme Colon: 25th Oct 2010 - 18:07 GMT
These photos transported me to a totally different world. These, not only show how the world was, but how men and women lived, worked, and died. Today is a sinch to do something like this, but then it was a very difficult task to accomplish. How difficult? Simply compare the fact that today's technology allows you to see any part of the world in seconds. It probably took Mr. Kahn years to have such a wonderful collection, such a treasure to share with future generations the world over. God bless Mr. Kahn.
Lysa Fisher: 25th Oct 2010 - 18:14 GMT
Amazing photos- if you'd like to see more of America from the civil war through the 1970's visit Shorpy.com (high res historical photos, many in color)
ChcuklesNuts: 25th Oct 2010 - 20:24 GMT
I will tell you this it is VERY hard to believe that some of these are 100 years old... i'm not saying they aren't but they had this technology back then but it took so long for it to be accepted... and alot of these make it even harder to accept cause in some places the world hasn't changed at all... a lot of them those people still wear those clothes to this day...
pat m.: 25th Oct 2010 - 21:16 GMT
Amazing photos--------I want more. I wish that I could take photos half as good as those! where can I find more?
William F. Wall: 25th Oct 2010 - 23:22 GMT
Oh how we have progressed materially, but one wonders if we have equally regressed morally. This was a fascinating "trip around the world!"
Barney: 26th Oct 2010 - 00:54 GMT
The photos were great. Reading the comments was another treat. The world will always have idiots as long as we have villages. We entertain ourselves by watching this wonderful world play out and there will always be a sad note somewhere on the page. Failure to achieve something results from a lack of effort as does a failure to appreciate. How hard can it be to try to understand what you see or hear, & if you can't understand it, just don't criticize.
MARIAN: 26th Oct 2010 - 02:13 GMT
THE PEOPLE IN THE POOR COUNTRIES LIVED(NOT TOO LONG) IN DISCOMFORT-WITH MANY DISEASES.LIFE FOR THE POOR IN THOSE TIMES WAS WRETCHED.AT LEAST THE COMMON MAN TO DAY HAS COMFORT---THE PICTURES ARE A GRAPHIC STORY AMAZING.
Franny Wentzel: 26th Oct 2010 - 10:11 GMT
Well... we learned how to make weapons powerful to wipe out every living thing on this planet. We also figured out it wasn't a good idea to actually use them.
We've managed to put men on the moon, yet we still have political leader devoted to idealogies that could've been delivered in speeches from the gondola of a dirigible.
And we figured out how to deliver a virtually unlimited supply and variety of pornographic imagery suitable for every taste and deviation - all without having to leave the comforts of home.
Chalie Pi: 26th Oct 2010 - 18:26 GMT
Many thanks, Franny, for the pix, info' and comments you've made. My world became richer today!
Jackie Dickey, Auburn, Calif: 27th Oct 2010 - 00:04 GMT
What beautiful pictures these are. I feel I have made a trip around the world and have never left my home. These pictures should be treasured for all time.
Craige Keen; Oct 26,2010: 27th Oct 2010 - 00:17 GMT
Great feat, to have captured on film much of what men have dreamed to see in their own lives and never had the opportunity to take the first step. These photos would make a very interesting and rich addition to a modern day college history class.
Jill: 27th Oct 2010 - 13:43 GMT
Wow, this is amazing. It's incredible to notice the cultures, and the colours, what they were wearing, what they were doing. It's so true some of the stereotypes we have today, date back so far (The Frenchmen and their berets, the Dutch and their clogs) Oh man this makes me want to visit the world so bad!
Dany: 27th Oct 2010 - 15:28 GMT
This collection is amazing. I read a lot of people commenting by the word "fascinating". And I think it is the perfect word for this. What an heritage.
Robbie: 31st Oct 2010 - 11:43 GMT
I think European culture back then was quite unique for every country ,cool and not stumbled like nowadays..just an amazing collection! Thanks for the post
Adam - Maki - Kossioris Athens : 3rd Nov 2010 - 14:51 GMT
What a collection of real pictures? After all we are not a gray picture hanging on the wall. With natural color we look alive. Thank you!!
Kat: 7th Nov 2010 - 01:29 GMT
A poignant reminder of the global loss of identity of the individual....
No Comment...: 8th Nov 2010 - 09:37 GMT
Very nice work... Beautiful Pics...
As an other user commented above Macedonia was a part of the Othoman Empire at the early 1900... So if the pic is taken before 1912-1913 the right label should really be Turkey-Macedonia... If it was taken after 1912-1913 it could either be in the Greece,Bulgaria or Yugoslavia... The Balkans were at war at the time so no one can really tell what the photographer meant when he labeled the photo Macedonia...
By the way, there is not such thing as a typical Macedonian architecture... You can say Balkan(witch i think it's the most suitable for the occasion), Greek (meaning Ancient Greek), Yugoslavian, Bulgarian architecture but not Macedonian... You could say Ancient Macedonian architecture if there was a ancient temple in the photo.. It's like saying American or Mexican architecture about the Mayan temples (it's either Native American or Mayan architecture).
Sorry if i tired you with my post...
jim cronin: 8th Nov 2010 - 18:22 GMT
Of the more than 100,000 e mails I have received...this is the most exciting and best....it will never be topped.....I was actually stunned by what I was looking at....thanks a bunch
pete: 10th Nov 2010 - 00:24 GMT
always interested in history and what the people did and thought thanks for getting these out i will save these
Orcen: 10th Nov 2010 - 00:28 GMT
I especially liked the one where the man is carrying a basket of succulent grapes...
garyloz: 12th Nov 2010 - 01:20 GMT
It's amazing see how multicultural the world was a century ago and it's sad to see how the world is becoming more westernized, imposing a mono-Hollywood-culture stereotype. We're done, suit & tie. From West to East. :(
Alex Ringer: 18th Nov 2010 - 17:40 GMT
As one who was born to b&w photography in the middle of the 20th century it is hard to believe that color photography was there many years before. Thanks to Musee (originally probably Moses) Albert Kahn I enjoyed the fantastic collection. Many thanks.
Franny Wentzel: 18th Nov 2010 - 20:12 GMT
Just so you know 'Musee' is the French word for museam Alex. These photos were from the Albert Kahn Museum
Urban Ghosts Media: 18th Nov 2010 - 23:36 GMT
This is incredible! For some reason seeing these images in colour looks strangely unrealistic, like a film set in a way. I'm totally used to seeing them in grainy black and white, so this is totally awesome!
Andrew t. Nicholas: 22nd Nov 2010 - 07:37 GMT
No way man, not a chance ive been seen to live so long as to see a picture with such intuitivness. Ive never seen a picture with such claity. It seems to tie now to then and theres not much of a barrier from then to now except the color differnce. its quite astuonding. i really think so, id love to see more. ive always wondered if someone could photoshop a photo from the blackn white subcatagory to make it a full fledged photo with color. it would be a great profession if anyone wants to try to do so. id love to be a whitness of past colors comming to life.
Nat Nasci: 24th Nov 2010 - 05:49 GMT
The Canadian photo is not Montreal. It is Vancouver. The church on the left is Christ Church Cathedral and the Italian Renaissance Style building on the right was the 2nd Hotel Vancouver torn down in 1949. The current Hotel Vancouver opened is one block away.
Nat Nasci: 24th Nov 2010 - 05:56 GMT
Whoops see others have noticed that. It wasn't called Fairmont back in those days, it was still part of CN Hotels until CPR Hotels bought that chained in 1988 and renamed the new company to Fairmont.
Darlene H: 29th Nov 2010 - 05:14 GMT
I love the pictures very interesting....this is the type of photography I hope I get to experience one day.....documentary...I want to see the world and capture all that I see...I want to share with others the things that we don't see everyday here in the United States of American. Seeing pictures like this makes me more grateful everyday for who I am and where I live. Thank you for the years and time that you put into these series of photographs Mr. Albert Kahn. God Bless You.
Gerry Coogan: 6th Dec 2010 - 14:24 GMT
These pictures are truly mesmerising. The colouring has a remarkably honest quality. It is fascinating to see a glimpse of a pre-plastic world with no artificially created luminous or fluorescent colours. Even the brightly coloured clothes which some of the subjects are wearing nevertheless still seem to be natural and organic.
So many of the portraits are timeless - the elderly Palestinian man, the Irish lass, the Indians standing in a row in the street, the Norwegian ladies - all of these shine as individual people with their own unique personalities. Seeing their images so sensitively and vividly captured in these frames makes it hard to accept that these are all lives which have now run their course.
Although there are a great many pictures of tremendous beauty and profound humanity, the show-stopper for me was the unspeakably horrific photograph of the Mongolian woman in the execution crate. That is a deeply moving and truly unforgettable image.
Anne: 9th Dec 2010 - 21:09 GMT
I love these pictures. They combine my love for history and photography. I hope this archive will be online for a long long time.
Thanks for sharing.
EGBASE Edward: 11th Dec 2010 - 20:37 GMT
Wonderful reminscience of man`s cultural and scientific evolution...
kulandairaj: 12th Dec 2010 - 00:10 GMT
Reallly it is a walk through the past sitting pretty at home. what a wonderful pictures
Jim Lucas: 12th Dec 2010 - 15:03 GMT
As a lover of history I found these photos interesting. Thank you.
Dex: 13th Dec 2010 - 02:55 GMT
Now this is old school photography. Thank God we got guys like Albert-Kahn who preserves these wonderful memories of the past.
manu: 13th Dec 2010 - 09:03 GMT
u can still find people dressed and living their lives in india like the ones in the pictures today....
MS: 16th Dec 2010 - 22:17 GMT
Appreciate the opportunity to see these photos with the Internet making it easy to see them. Apart from the regretful words some have posted here one person accurately stated the people and period does not seem so remote any longer.
Daniel in Québec: 19th Dec 2010 - 00:11 GMT
I love looking at old pictures. It is as if these people are now eternal. By the way, about the wooden shoes in the Netherlands, last year I was in Amsterdam and saw a crew of workers repairing a street and they wore wooden shoes. They said these offer better protection than steel toes because the protection is all around. So I bought a pair!
Fred God: 21st Dec 2010 - 03:23 GMT
I have often seen the people with very serious expressions in these old pictures. The reason was not, that the people were not as happy, but were told to keep a serious expression, since those old films needed to be exposed for several seconds and it was easier to "HOLD" a serious expression for much longer than a smile.
Leanne.: 29th Dec 2010 - 10:43 GMT
wow these are simply amazing I am stunned!!
It would great to see an aproximate date for each one though!
love it - this has given me a new found perspective on the world and it's history!!
anon (cache-mtc-ae05.proxy.aol.com): 3rd Jan 2011 - 12:48 GMT
Wonderful. Unfortunately I have a warped sense of humor and thought of some titles that made me smile, perhaps you did too.
kilod: 11th Jan 2011 - 16:52 GMT
this pictures is very wonderful than all the beautiful pictures of all that I've seen before
Brad Savelli: 24th Jan 2011 - 03:21 GMT
Had no idea hat this technology was available so long ago. awesome pics.
anon (220.127.116.11): 3rd Feb 2011 - 14:32 GMT
Have an early color photo: Dutch woman and child in front of an old windmill. Can see some touching-up. This photo is not "permanent" that is, it appears that it could be erased. What do you think?
Franny Wentzel: 3rd Feb 2011 - 16:05 GMT
They did hand-tinting of black & white photos for special pictures back in the day. Might be something like that.
Wayne: 9th Feb 2011 - 07:57 GMT
In the first photo of India There is a person wearing a dhoti,another a lungi and the last guy is wearing a langoti.The fourth indian photo is of all the former Royals comprising several small princely states in Rajasthan,Northern India
Laprus: 12th Feb 2011 - 12:46 GMT
Does anyone know if the whole collection has been digitized and made available online?
Jonathon: 7th Mar 2011 - 17:55 GMT
What an amazing group of photos. To be able to see what the world looked like back then withouth the musleading black and white is truly incredible. The details that can be seen by having the photos in color just lend so much to the picture as we are so used to seeing photos like this as tattered, beat up and worn out pictures. To see the constant work that these people seemed to be putting into growing and building this world is completely obvious. And makes me almost meloncholy to be part of this current world, as kids these days take everything for granted and need a lesson in humility BIG TIME.
GREAT COLLECTION. Thank you for it.
Amanda E.: 7th Mar 2011 - 20:19 GMT
This is amazing! It really makes the pictures come to life and makes you feel like you are actually there in that period. Thank you for this amazing collection.
Robyn: 21st Mar 2011 - 01:34 GMT
Wonderful peek into history. I remember seeing the photo of the Mongolian woman in the box when I was a child. I found it haunting then. When I saw it in this collection, I could not remember the details but knew I had seen it before, and it gave me a bad feeling. Then of course, I read the comments that said she was condemned to death, and I knew why it gave me such a bad feeling. I wonder what she did to be given such a sentence?
Franny Wentzel: 21st Mar 2011 - 02:47 GMT
Probably for something trivial like not having dinner ready or talking back to her old man...
Touche: 4th Apr 2011 - 20:27 GMT
Others here, from Japan...
Sam: 5th Apr 2011 - 15:18 GMT
It makes you realize your only here for an instant in time,Great pictures Thank you
Dani: 2nd May 2011 - 10:26 GMT
I think what's more shocking is that it's NOT from a long time ago. How the world evolved in a century! And how globalization affected the world. You can see almost everywhere someone in a t-shirt, jeans and snickers. It's amazing!
Suzanne: 6th May 2011 - 00:14 GMT
I agree, some of the natural beauty in these photos is just incredibly different. It makes you think how our children/grandchildren will be able to view the world when they're older.
Sanjarbek Latipov in Uzbekistan: 17th Jun 2011 - 15:37 GMT
Hello. thanknkyou for photos iz Uzbekistan Sanjarbek Latipov E:mail:Sanjarbek_best@bk.ru
anon (71-82-23-86.static.mtgm.al.charter.com): 5th Aug 2011 - 05:34 GMT
this sux. who wants to see shitty poor people
sophie: 7th Aug 2011 - 04:19 GMT
amazing！so beautiful...especially the Chinese pictures.I am a Chinese,I love these.
yamacoco: 7th Aug 2011 - 10:43 GMT
i think there are pictures are actually from China but not vietnam.
manuelreyes: 8th Aug 2011 - 03:38 GMT
buenisima esta coleccion de fotos nos hace refleccionar sobre lo que fue y lo que es hoy nuestro mundo
Carol Zhou: 8th Aug 2011 - 04:37 GMT
Amazing...it's really nice to get to see how the world was back then...starting to be curious how will it look like 100 years later...
memmememe: 14th Sep 2011 - 02:09 GMT
ah the good old days when nations were actually nations of the same race
Franny Wentzel: 15th Sep 2011 - 03:38 GMT
Since when did the human race cease to have a monopoly on nation states?
Catherine Clausen: 25th Sep 2011 - 06:00 GMT
What I find most amazing, is how similar they look to now.
resuvenus: 28th Sep 2011 - 01:32 GMT
wow its good post thanks for this article of yours
Leuren: 30th Sep 2011 - 13:21 GMT
Why are these photos so beautiful? I can't stop looking at them, but I can't put my finger on it.
Kc: 6th Oct 2011 - 21:59 GMT
The picktures are so vivid! It really gives a hint on what life was like in the1900! I can not believe that a person was put in a box!It probibly hurt! ouch you dont want to be in that siyuation!:( I wonder if thier actors or the picktures axuly were from 1900! :)
Eileen: 16th Oct 2011 - 04:36 GMT
If these are honestly real, I can say that they help me imagine what it was like back then. I've always find it hard to imagine things are real when they are in black and white ...
Franny Wentzel: 16th Oct 2011 - 11:25 GMT
I have some old National Geographics with colour plates like these images - and I have one with an exact duplicate of the Mongolian woman in a box - so yes, these are for real. It should be noted that the title of this post is 'Early 1900s in Colour' to reflect the fact that some images taken well into the 1920s.
sunilscove.wordpress.com: 2nd Nov 2011 - 13:21 GMT
this is spectacular, i have not seen so many color photos of that era in a single place...lovely
Jack Godwin: 19th Dec 2011 - 09:17 GMT
Sad, you didn't include the year each photo was taken...if you don't know the actual year, a ball park would be fine...
MB: 30th Dec 2011 - 20:13 GMT
The Mostar bridge aka "Stari Most" (or Old Bridge) is actually in the region of Herzegovina, of the country whose full name is Bosnia & Herzegovina.
These a beautiful, and makes one nostalgic for a bygone era never experienced.
Franny Wentzel: 3rd Jan 2012 - 06:49 GMT
A ballpark may be fine with you but I prefer a Hebrew National - they answer to a higher authority... and I don't mean Oprah
anon (h18.104.22.168.dynamic.ip.windstream.net): 13th Jan 2012 - 13:58 GMT
brilliant glimpse of history,from a great perspective.i give 5 stars. thanks so much for sharing...
Freddy: 23rd Jan 2012 - 03:16 GMT
I can't help but notice you had a photo of a Palestinian man.Now,if this photo was taken in the 1900's,then this is proof that Palestine existed long before anyone can say the Jeeeeeew...lol
Franny Wentzel: 23rd Jan 2012 - 12:38 GMT
The Palestine Mandate was what the British Empire called their slice of the Ottoman Empire after World War I - which included what they called 'Trans-Jordan'.
Historic land claims are a meaningless construction unless you have the firepower or sheer numbers to back them up.
It's not like the Man Upstairs gave all the peoples of the world little slips of paper with land assignments scrawled on 'em - allotments that were fixed and immobile for all eternity.
Harleyman: 30th Jan 2012 - 02:12 GMT
Harleyman: 30th Jan 2012 - 02:17 GMT
Judy Spock: 4th Feb 2012 - 18:41 GMT
The wide variety in appearance suggests how different cultures were from each other then...no world 'mono culture' yet!
June Barrow: 5th Feb 2012 - 21:06 GMT
Thank you for sharing these most incredible photos with the world.
Steffani Cameron: 13th Feb 2012 - 02:51 GMT
This series of photos became a television documentary series for BBC, called THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ALBERT KAHN.
The Mongolian "box" photo, I don't know if anyone else answered because there's too much to read through, so I'll just answer.
Because Mongolians were nomadic, there weren't always fixed-point jails, especially by use of tribes. They needed portable imprisonment, so they used these boxes. It wasn't always a life sentence as someone inferred up there. You could spend a few days or weeks in the box and live to moan about it.
Franny Wentzel: 13th Feb 2012 - 03:53 GMT
National Geographic published the photo in May 1922 with the following caption...
I wouldn't put it past the author embelishing the nature of her confinement a bit. Journalists do it all the time.
Christine: 25th Feb 2012 - 06:23 GMT
Wow, when these photos are colorized, some of them almost look like some form of surrealism artwork. Amazing!!
Stephan Engelbrecht: 26th Feb 2012 - 17:15 GMT
It seems that some of the countries shown here have not changed much ( The way of life for it's inhabitants )
anon (22.214.171.124): 27th Feb 2012 - 18:57 GMT
Pooja : 27th Feb 2012
I just lost in old times.All Pic are amazing.
Disappointed: 12th Apr 2012 - 06:38 GMT
You look through these photos and are amazed. No words can describe them.
Then you read the comments and wonder how the f-ck society ended up so screwed?
Do you people not realise you're morons?
Mongolian: 16th May 2012 - 01:31 GMT
I heard many time Mongolians used some strange punishments like put in the box and let them die. But never seen photos like this, it great even for us, Mongolians. It is like set time machine and go back to 19th century.
Heather: 4th Jun 2012 - 15:39 GMT
to Disappointed- you are so right - I'm now wondering why I wasted time reading the comments -
zimmer: 4th Jun 2012 - 18:27 GMT
These pictures show how "clean" coal really really is. Perhaps a need to make some of these pictures posters against the "Clean coal" fools.
Roz Rayner-Rix: 8th Jun 2012 - 18:44 GMT
The legs of the Sphinx were eroded away. They added new ones in the past 15 years. I have seen them and they look far too big and not quite right...
I have really enjoyed this meander through history, I am truly amazed at the quality of the images.
Thank you to whoever assembled it all...
Janet: twenty-third Aug. 2012: 23rd Aug 2012 - 17:47 GMT
I am seventy-five years old, and I have some precious memories. My grandparents in Ill. still lived like they did in 1860. They could have had electricity, but refused it. They lived on a farm and did a marvelous job with the know-how they had. I remember the hog killings. The preparing of the meat for canning and hanging in the smokehouse is something I will never forget. Sometimes the milk was tainted by ragweed or wild onions and we could not use it. I use to churn butter in this glass canister with a blade at the bottom, and the iceman came ever so often for the ice-box; we could put the butter there. I caught malaria and was deathly sick for a long time. Believe it or not, my Dr. was Dr. Brown and he gave me quinine. The outhouses were terrible and the mosquitoes, wasps and vermin were terrible. The pace was slow. There were no antibiotics or health care like today. The farm house was well taken care of by my grandmother. We had well water without any chemicals, and milk was unpasteurized. She raised six children - two died; one with kidney disease, young, and one with the Spanish Flu at age twenty. I have many, many pictures of old times, dating back to before 1900. There was a photographer in the family and I have a whole history of Americana at that time. Beautiful stills and snapshots. I could say much more, but will stop here; I will take today, without the awful morals and language, of course.
Janet: twenty-third Aug. 2012: 23rd Aug 2012 - 18:25 GMT
I wanted to add a few more things. If I wanted fried chicken for dinner, my grandmother was only too happy to kill a chicken, dress it, cut it up and cook it - no Krogers chicken breast in a beautiful package. They had kerosene lamps and I used to read after my grandparents went to bed in the kitchen. I would then carry the kerosene lamp to my bedroom at age nine! Children learned to take care of themselves, and they were safe around all people. Blackberries were in abundance and the pies were so wonderful, beyond description. My grandmother always looked nice with her wavy updo and clean apron. Their lives were hard and full of work, but both my grandfather and grandmother lived into their eighties without medicine until their death. The clothes they made were lovely and I have pictures of beautiful girls in white dresses with shiny hair, piled on top of their heads. A different time, clean language, religion made the community safe and a handshake was your word. When I hear the crazy language today, even on this forum, I get sick to my stomach. How did we ever evolve into such depravity. If we do not straighten up, God will judge our country and it will not be pretty.
AmateurExp: 4th Sep 2012 - 07:32 GMT
Fascinating photographs. For those who are interested in the Mongolian box. The prisoners were fed and watered daily, and very rarely left to die in the crate, that kind of death is considered disgraceful by Mongols. They were usually taken out of the box, fed one last time, offered a prayer and then executed. As for mistreating women, if someone commits a terrible crime (murder, treason and etc.), is it fair to let it slip just because it is a woman? Also I saw some comments that it is still practiced in Mongolia; I assure you this is not true.
Ricky B: 9th Sep 2012 - 04:27 GMT
These are very artistic examples of a new art form that didn't exist prior to Albert Kahn and his contemporaries. Artistically the colors are warm and luxurious, far better than the blasts of color we get with today's digital photo. Everything today is super-hyper-high definition, realistic and very fake.
Random: 27th Oct 2012 - 04:58 GMT
WOW! that photo of that Vietnamese woman laying down on her bed is beautiful. And, gosh, I can't imagine what that Mongolian lady must had went through, to be starved like that?
Warulv: 7th Nov 2012 - 11:47 GMT
Amazing pictures that really takes you back to an easier and more peaceful time !!
squiggles: 7th Nov 2012 - 21:37 GMT
A lovely color collection of times past! Oh how it must have been exotic to travel back then, the mystery of the Orient, the beastly brave of the middle east and the regal fashion of British India!
squiggles: 7th Nov 2012 - 21:39 GMT
Oh..and everyone is thinner because they worked physically hard. No supermarkets or call centres in those days. ;-)
anon (pluton.uvsq.fr): 19th Nov 2012 - 15:51 GMT
Mongolian woman in the box: photograph by Stéphane Passet. He didn't know why she was put in there. The bowl was supposed to be here because the woman was fed, not condemned to starve. The box was also a way of carrying sentenced people it seems. I'm going to visit Kahn's Museum. How come I missed it to this day I can't tell.
Dave: 19th Jan 2013 - 17:43 GMT
All of these folks that say they want to go back and live in that time are crazy! Despite the allure of the culture, many here forget that most of these folks didn't have air conditioning, toilet paper, indoor plumbing, bottled water, and internet blogs to read :) Imagine all the hardships and disease these folks dealt with. No antibiotics! A simple cut with infection could kill you. After 1 week of going back in time, we would be ready to promptly return to the land of plenty.
Alex: 28th Feb 2013 - 15:50 GMT
LOL at the picture of Greece.Im Greek and this is embarrassing.They look like janissary or Arbëreshë.I guess wrong people in wrong picture.Just like some pictures of Russia show Mongolians and they r labeled "Russia".
Franny Wentzel: 28th Feb 2013 - 22:14 GMT
To Alex - you do realise the identifying caption is under the picture(s) not over?
Harold Chic Chichester: 17th Mar 2013 - 04:14 GMT
mike mitchel: 20th Mar 2013 - 13:44 GMT
i wonder how many people today know that colour photography has been around for well over 100 years. these would make for a very good national geographic special edition..
Franny Wentzel: 22nd Mar 2013 - 06:12 GMT
Check with the Albert Kahn museum's web site....
John: 26th Mar 2013 - 22:59 GMT
Funny how many comments on here are baseless garbage discussing people's weight or how the pictures don't look real. Get a life. Thanks for providing these nice photos, though~
kirsty simpson12 april 2013: 15th Apr 2013 - 16:10 GMT
I love this photo and i do like takeing pictures myself,admired the pictures.Even the women in the box,a prisoner,the pictures says it all.THANKS for the pictures really opened my mind.To those who havent got anything then write crap about these pictures,need to lookin a mirror now and again.
mike m: 26th Apr 2013 - 18:00 GMT
it would be a real educational experience to see a video on how these color photo's were actually taken, and then were they
amanda windsor: 28th Sep 2015 - 09:47 GMT
fantastic photos!!! they belong in a glossy picture book & i would be the first to buy one!!!
Franny Wentzel: 29th Sep 2015 - 04:47 GMT
Rebeka: 27th Oct 2015 - 00:45 GMT
Am absolutely fascinated with these photos. The color brings so much life to the photos that in some you almost feel as if you are there. It is wonderful that so many of the cultures allowed the photographers to capture them, because many cultures believed that the camera stole the soul. Our family lived/traveled many countries of the world in the 1960s and 1970s. Viewing those old photos are a trip into my childhood that is wonderful, they are mostly in color as well. My dad shot 35mm slides, my Mom shot 8mm movie. Unfortunately I don't know how much of the movie films we will still be able to see, but I hope a lot. They both passed in 2011 and we have many items to go through ! Thank You so much for sharing these.....would love to go the museum and spend hours and hours there !!
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