Although you might think that these images were originally black and white and were colorized thanks to modern technology, they were actually colorized at the time they were created - circa 1900. A Swiss man, named Hans Jakob Schmid, developed a process to produced colorized images in the late 1880s. The complex technique came to be known as Photochrom and was closely-guarded by the printing company, Orell Gessner Fussli, that Schmid worked for. It was licensed out to the Detroit Publishing Company, which turned thousands of black of white photographs into color postcards. Here are 14 examples of the publishing company's stellar work:
Click on images to enlarge
A cowboy rides through the American Wild West.
Algerian men relax outside a cafe in Algiers, the capital city of Algeria.
A French warship moored off the coast of Algiers.
Bedouin tribesmen have a chat in Ottoman Palestine.
Women sit in the ruins of Capernaum (Capernaium), an ancient fishing village on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Israel.
Visitors enjoy a view out to sea from the harbor at Warnemunde, a German seaside resort on the Baltic Sea.
Rock formations tower above fishermen in the German archipelago of Heligoland, which is located in the North Sea.
Cows graze in a pasture high in the Swiss Alps.
A chalet in the shadow of Wetterhorn Peak, one of the three peaks of Switzerland's Mount Wetterhorner.
A gondolier rows down the Grand Canal of Venice beneath the moonlight.
People relax and stroll along the seafront in Scheveningen, a seaside resort in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Scheveningen Beach in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Two young milk peddlers in traditional dress sell milk to a boy in Belgium.