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by Bill Kimberlin
April 11 , 2007

     The above photo was taken in Russia before World War I by a man named Sergei Gorskii. He developed a process by which he could capture and project color images as early as 1907.

     When the Czar of Russia learned of this extraordinary invention he outfitted a special train for Sergei to document Russia.

     Thanks to digital/computer technology, the content of these ancient glass plates has been preserved and their priceless vision of a world long extinct, is available to all.

     Please note that these images are NOT colorized black and white photographs. They were actually taken in color about hundred years ago.

     Color film was non-existent in 1909 Russia, yet Sergei managed to make photographic plates in black and white that he could convert to color by an ingenious photographic technique which produced accurate color images.

     "He accomplished this with a clever camera of his own design, which took three black and white photos of a scene in rapid sequence, each through a differently colored filter. His photographic plates were long and slender, capturing all three images onto the same plate, resulting in three monochrome images which each had certain color information filtered out."

     "Sergei was then able to use a special image projector to project the three images onto a screen, each directly overlapping the others, and each through the appropriately colored filter. The recombined projection was a full-color representation of the original scene."

     "In 2004, the Library contracted with Blaise Agüera y Arcas to produce an automated color composite of each of the 1,902 negatives from the high resolution digital images of the glass plate negatives. A complete description of his process and a list of other sites that have prepared digital color composite images are in the collection profile at the Library of Congress."

      You can visit the collection online by going to the Library of Congress site.

     Our history, the world's history, was in color. I hope this will be recognized by the next film director that makes an historical epic. No more muted browns please. The world has always been in full color.



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