Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Madonna del Sasso
View the rest as a geocoded gallery
These are photochroms. Photochroms are a continuous-tone, color photolithographic process created from black-and-white negatives. The process was invented in 1897.
I hate that in this age of Photoshop, I have to feel doubt about the authenticity of these. :(
I have been to the Madonna Del Sasso. It is a very strange baroque church overlooking Lago Maggiore in the Ticino canton of Switzerland. Gorgeous and strange, a long hike up or a ride on the funicular to get there. It looked the same in 1989 as it does in that 1909 picture.
Not the same perspective but here is a shot of the Charles bridge from earlier this year I made http://www.flickr.com/photos/dseroka/4885203313/
Just to be clear, these are definitely public domain images, right?
Looks like CC 3 Non Commericial
It’s an especially great time to be a BB reader these last days.
Weren’t tinted photos the HDRs of the time, just as revealing of all the details and of the subjectivity, and talent, of anyone who t(a)inted them; also just as heavily criticized, at the time?
Rob, you continue to rock this full browser layout thing.
It would be great to find out “just where” in “Austria” that fantasmagoric bridge is?
If it still exists, it would be wonderful to ge visit it, or see contemporary pictures of it.
I’d appreciate any tips as to the actual location of it.
Thanks in advance, and thanks for posting those interesting pictures!!
“Austria” is the bridge of FinstermÃ¼nz, that’s where the river Inn passes from Switzerland into the Tirol. The bridge is still there, as is the tower, but they have been restored.
Hi, all i have to say its superb. Get to know more photo retouching
I really Like these pictures .. well done
There is same photo Prague and Kayserberg … ???
wow. the photos are just as beautiful as the layout. thank you so much for this!
If anyone knows more about the origins of these images, please get in touch.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa seems to be photobombing the other buildings.
Hey I once took some time to peruse a volume of color photos from Czarist Russia which I found in the stacks of my local info-dump.
It’s now out-of-print, but here’s a link to its Big river page:
Personally, I like the absence of overhead wires and antennae in the city-scapes.
And the streets of Kayserberg look like dry stream beds after a flood. But yet, I’m kinda sorry that my streets don’t look like that all the time.
The one labeled “Karlsaue” is actually mislabeled (probably in the original?). The picture is of the Hercules Monument located in Bergpark WilhelmshÃ¶he, in Kassel, Germany. Karlsaue is a different park in Kassel.
I can confirm the image labeled with Kassel Karlsaue should actually be Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe and Herkules Monument. Kassel used to be my hometown until 4 years ago, when I moved to Texas.
The Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe is besides of the Karlsaue one of the main attractions of Kassel and famous within Europe as Europe’s biggest Bergpark (Hill Park).
I Wish the exposures could have been short enough to show people. Also, these pictures look like Beirut (band) sounds.
There are people in some of the shots. Certainly the Austria one has 2 people standing on the bridge and the Pisa one has someone on the path.
Came for the band, but I checked out Beirut and now my visual journey is complete. AMAZING recommendation, love them!
Thanks to BB reader Michael for directing me to a short history of the photography studio that produced this work. Dr. Peter Walther of the Brandenburg Literary office wrote the piece (in German) and has edited numerous works regarding early color photography in Germany.
I would love to see a now version of all of those photos, just to see how more beautiful the past was.
Kayserburg is rocky and decrepit. And what’s up with that pointy thing at the top of the golf course?
In all seriousness: these photos are beautiful windows. . .I was just happy to find the Pisa Piazza and the Madonna del Sasso still stand (half thought two World Wars would of obliterated such delicate architecture). . .
These are some really nice, really amazing photos.
What would be great, would be to see photos taken today from the same positions.
My thoughts exactly! Google image search the Madonna del Sasso for some cool comparisons. I didn’t see any pictures in the EXACT same location, but most of them are pretty close. All that’s really changed is the lawn care — it looks like the age of tourism has increased the demand for fresh paint and frequent weed-whacking.
And most images of the Hercules Monument at Kassel are similar to the one in the post. Its cool to see how much the little shrubs around it have grown :)
Tanks, Alex_M! Fixed that.
Not to discount the beauty & history of these shots, how much post work was done on them? The clarity, saturation, and lack of damage just doesn’t seem to match the age. I think part of the charm of vintage ‘art’ is displaying how it aged.
That being said, if these haven’t been manipulated heavily, do we know how they were preserved so well?
A beautiful collection regardless of my above doubts.
It would be incredible if you could track down an image of Dresden.
Anon #12, there _is_ one from Dresden:
I took them right from Mike’s scans. The only thing I worked was some very visible damage on the Pisa one. You can see the original at the link.
That’s really impressive. If you hear anything regarding the type of prints these are and how they were preserved so well, please share.
If anything, Mike’s scans are even sharper and clearer — the ones here are sized down and smartblurred a smidgin to keep file sizes down.
These are published under the belief that they have entered the public domain due to copyright expiration.
I visited Madonna del Sasso in 1997 and again in 2004. Very little has changed except for more development on the other side of Lake Maggiore. The cityscape of Florence is very recognizable.
If anyone has any more information about the images and their copyright status, that would be much appreciated.
…and contemplating these old color photos has put me in mind of an old Rolling Stones song (which it now feels I first heard, about a hundred years ago):
So pleasantly free of the automobile, yet rail and motorboat are visible. The beautifully crafted architectural layering suggests the cycles of destruction and renewal and what a disaster motor vehicles have been to cities. Nostalgia…what the hell, the universe is one big love story and disaster flick.
Thank you. The photographs are beautiful.
Hey it looks like the Boston Globe has an article about those old color photos of Czarist Russia, to which I alluded in my post above.
Some nice photos there, too:
Thanks, that’s really really cool. Not only are these pictures stunning, but I can actually see my own house on the Geneva photo :-) (here: http://picasaweb.google.com/michaelryanshaughnessy/1906ScannedColorPhotosGISShaughnessy#5229595317073398210)
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