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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old Things Don't Look All That Old in Color

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Earlier this month, we got some color snaps of Shackleton's 1915 Antarctic trip. Pretty nifty. But they're not quite as captivating as what the Smithsonian put out this week: Full color photos of a San Francisco freshly wrecked by the 1906 earthquake.


Click here to see more. Is it me, or is it a little jarring to see that a city, 100 years ago, really did have bright colors and sunshine, and not just the sad, Dickensian, child-labor-filled grays that fill black-and-white photos? Take away the old-timey billboard, and my brain has no trouble thinking these images are from no older than a smoggy, barren 1965.

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