“The Paper Time Machine” Book Takes Historical Images And Imbues Them With Astonishing Color

Early photographic technology lacked a crucial ingredient — color. As early as the invention of the medium, skilled artisans applied color to photographs by hand, attempting to convey the vibrancy and immediacy of life in vivid detail (with mostly crude results).

The age-old practice of colorization has been revived with modern digital precision in a new book, “The Paper Time Machine”.

With images curated by Retronaut creator Wolfgang Wild and colorized according to meticulous period research by Jordan Lloyd of Dynamichrome, the book aims to collapse the divide between historical imagery and present-day viewers.


An overhead view of people on 36th St. between 8th and 9th Aves., New York. Manhattan’s Garment District has been the center of the American fashion industry since at least the turn of the twentieth century – in 1900, New York City’s garment trade was its largest industry by a factor of three. The entire fashion ecosystem, from fabric suppliers to designer showrooms, exists within an area just under a square mile. Native New Yorker Margaret Bourke-White was in her mid-twenties when she took this picture. She would later become Life magazine’s first female photojournalist and, during WWII, the first female war correspondent. The two cars shown are a 1930 Ford Model A 4-Door Sedan, left, and a Ford Model A Sports Coupe, right. IMAGE: MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE /TIME & LIFE PICTURES / GETTY IMAGES Continue reading »

42 Stunning Restored And Colorized Historic Images Bring The Past To Life

An emaciated 18-year-old Russian girl looks into the camera lens during the liberation of Dachau concentration camp in 1945.

Relating to the past can be difficult when all you have to look at are faded black and white photos that feel like they are from another planet. The mind thinks and remembers in color, meaning a color photograph is much easier to connect with than a black and white photo. Continue reading »

Stunning Colorized Photos Show Child Laborers In Early 20th Century America

Photographer Lewis Hine documented at the beginning of the 20th century and during more than ten years, the tough daily life of children working in American factories and mines. Some of his pictures were colorized by Tom Marshall at PhotograFix. Continue reading »

Lovely Colorized Photos Of Edwardian Little Girls That May Make You Amazed

These stunning colorized photos of lovely girls from Edwardian era that may make you amazed. Continue reading »

Stunning Colorized Photos Of Legendary Soviet Female Snipers From WWII, Including One Dubbed ‘Lady Death’ Who Killed 309 Nazis

Stunning colorized images have given new life to WWII female snipers who protected their territory against German attacks, including the most successful female sniper in history, Lyudmila Pavlichenko also known as ‘Lady Death’.

Roza Shanina was one of the 800,000 women who fought in Russia.

The photographs were colorized by Moscow artist Olga Shirnina. Continue reading »

10 Colorized Historical Photos Of Famous Landmarks Under Construction

THE HOOVER DAM, UNITED STATES c. 1935


BUREAU OF RECLAMATION. COLOR RECONSTRUCTION BY DYNAMICHROME

Jordan Lloyd of Dynamichrome has colorized an incredible series of 130 historical monochrome photos, which were meticulously selected by Retronaut website founder Wolfgang Wild. The collaborative project is entitled, The Paper Time Machine, and the two have launched a crowdfunding campaign to have the project published. Continue reading »

Stunning Colorized Photos Of The Discovery Of The Tutankhamun’s Tomb In The 1920s

Harry Burton’s photographs capture Tutankhamun’s tomb at the moment of its discovery have enthralled the world for generations, enabling the viewer to witness the ‘Wonderful Things’ the discoverers of the tomb, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon, were fortunate to experience first-hand. Burton’s iconic black and white photographs have illustrated the imagination of millions for almost a century, and now a selection of the original negatives and photographs, housed in the archive of the Griffith Institute, University of Oxford, has been digitally colourised by Dynamichrome on behalf of SC Exhibitions and the Griffith Institute. Continue reading »

Romantic Colorized Vintage Postcards Show French People During The WWI Era

These brightly colored postcards, sent by French families and soldiers during World War I, are part of a set of similar cards available on Flickr from the George Eastman House. Because sending postcards to soldiers was postage-free during the conflict, the cards were mass-produced in great quantity and variety. Imagery offered solace and urged staunch resolve. Continue reading »

Incredible Colorized Photos Of Soldiers During World War One

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Here is a collection incredible colorized photos showing everyday life of soldiers from 1914-1918, during World War One. Continue reading »

Breathtaking WWII Colorized Photos Look Like They Were Taken Yesterday

World War Two black and white photos that are researched and colorized in detail by Doug and other artists from the ‘Colourisehistory Group.’ These breathtaking colorized photos look like they were taken yesterday.

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A Supermarine Spitfire Vc ‘Tropical’ JK707 MX-P serving with 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group operated by 12th USAAF. The regular pilot was 1st.Lt. Carroll A. Prybylo, but when lost it was flown by Capt. Virgil Cephus Fields, Jr. (Source – US Navy, via Library of Congress. Colorized by Paul Reynolds. Historic Military Photo Colourisations) Continue reading »

Fascinating Colorized Photos Of Refugees During World War II

Refugees crossed these same passageways 70 years ago. But they were not Syrians and they traveled in the opposite direction. At the height of World War II, the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) operated camps in Syria, Egypt and Palestine where tens of thousands of people from across Europe sought refuge.

MERRA was part of a growing network of refugee camps around the world that were operated in a collaborative effort by national governments, military officials and domestic and international aid organizations. Social welfare groups including the International Migration Service, the Red Cross, the Near East Foundation and the Save the Children Fund all pitched in to help MERRA and, later, the United Nations to run the camps.

TIME commissioned freelance photo editor Sanna Dullaway to colorize some of iconic images of WWII refugees.

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Displaced persons cross a bridge on the River Elbe at Tangermunde, which was blown up by the Germans, to escape the chaos behind German lines caused by the approach of the advancing Russians on May 1, 1945. (Fred Ramage—Keystone/Getty Images / Photo colorization by Sanna Dullaway for TIME) Continue reading »

Beautiful Colorized Photos Of Immigrants in Their Traditional Dresses At The Ellis Island Immigration Station In The Early 20th Century

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The photographs were taken by an immigration official named Augustus Frederick Sherman. He took photographs of immigrants who were being detained for further interrogation, whether for medical or other reasons. Some would be permitted to stay while others would be forced to return to the homes they risked so much to leave. Continue reading »

Incredibly Colorized Pictures Show The Life Of Russian People In The Past

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Here is an incredible collection of colorized vintage photos that shoe the life of old Russian people in the past. Continue reading »

These 64 Colorized Photos From The Past Will Blow You Away

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Up until the 1970s, color photography was extremely rare, and so when we think about history prior to that time, we often envision it in black and white. Today’s technology now enables us to “colorize” historical photos, giving us our only chance at seeing what the world really looked like back then. And it was truly spectacular.

Take a trip back in time through these photos below. Continue reading »

Arie van’t Riet’s Colorized X-rays Emphasize Natural Beauty


“As a physicist I specialized in radiation physics. Especially in very low energy X-rays. Some years ago I started to use these experience in X-ray photography. An amazing kind of black and white photography. Looking with X-ray eyes to nature. That’s what I like to experience with my X-ray camera. I prefer X-ray objects of ordinary scenes like a butterfly nearby a flower, a fish in the ocean, a mouse in the field, a haron along the riverside, a bird in a tree and so on. Each time it is challenging me to arrive at an X-ray photograph that represents the sentiment of the scene, do raise questions and excite curiosity. I hope, in most of the images presented here I succeeded.” – Arie van’t Riet. Continue reading »