Sunday, January 30, 2011

I must confess. I am a liar. The subtitle of my blog represents that I write about "Films, Music, and History." However, if you are an avid reader (which you undoubtedly are), you would notice that I have more often write about Hot Chicks and some Music. Anyway, the point of this drawn-out introduction is to say that I am finally posting about some interesting history!

Prompt: I have always been interested in anything old -- ever since I can remember. I really like prototypes and early models of technology. I find it fascinating that people technically had cell phones in the 1980's (or bricks, see image immediately infra).

Brad Pitt

I also like early computers (Commodore 64 -- 1982), early video game consoles (Magnavox Odyssey -- 1972), and old pasty white men. I generally like technology that is ahead of its time.

I've also been very interested in early color photography. To my surprise, the first color photograph ever taken was in 1861! This was during the first year of the American Civil War! I must say, I never compliment the French for anything, but they were leaders in developing color photography.

First Color Photograph, 1861 (of a ribbon).

After doing some Google searches I was able to find some early color photographs of small villages in France in the 1870's, color photographs of World War I, and the most stunning of all (and the subject of this post), are crystal clear color photographs taken in the 1910's documenting the Russian Empire (before Communism took over/WWI). What makes these pictures so special is their clarity and color saturation. Most of the pictures look like they could have been taken yesterday:

Russian Railroad Bridge, 1910.

Bashkir switchman, 1910.

City of Perm, 1910.

Astro-Hungarian WWI POWS, 1915.

Monastery of St. Nilus, 1910.

The photographer and inventor himself, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, 1910.

I hope you enjoyed these early color pictures. You can see more by Prokudin-Gorsky at (published by the Library of Congress). Enjoy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011