20 Historic Black & White Pictures Restored In Colour

by ChinaBambi

When we look at black and white photographs, we can’t help but feel that irrational sense that, in the past, the world was actually black and white. It has recently become quite trendy to colorise old black and white photos, though, which inevitably brings us closer to the past, unveiling the mysticism and romance of those colourless frames.

There are different ways to colorize black and white photography depending on how dedicated you are. Many of the colours of the past can be restored by researching fashion trends and the fabrics that were available then and there. Others can be found by visiting the locations in the photos. But a big part of the colour restoration process involves basic guesswork based on shades of grey and on a basic understanding of naturally-occurring colours.

One of reddit’s subreddits, r/ColorizedHistory, hosts a community that shares a passion for colorising black and white photography. Here’s a compilation of some of their wonderful work, which gives us a chance to glimpse at the colours of a world long gone.

Source: Reddit/ColorizedHistory (via: demilked)

1. Women Delivering Ice, 1918

Original photo by War Department/National Archives

Colourized by Dana Keller

2. Times Square, 1947

Original photo by William Gottlieb

Colourized by Jordan J. Lloyd

3. Easter Eggs for Hitler, c 1944-1945

Original photo by US Army/National Archives

Colourized by Zuzzah

4. Newspaper boy Ned Parfett sells copies of the evening paper bearing news of Titanic’s sinking the night before. (April 16, 1912)

Original photo by Hulton-Deutsch Collection

Colourized by Dana Keller

5. Portrait Used to Design the Penny. President Lincoln Meets General McClellan – Antietam, Maryland ca September 1862

Original photo Alexander Gardner

Colourized by Zuzzah

6. Sergeant George Camblair practicing with a gas mask in a smokescreen – Fort Belvoir, Virginia, 1942

Original photo by Jack Delano

Colourized by Ryan Urban

7. Painting WWII Propaganda Posters, Port Washington, New York – 8 July 1942

Original photo by Marty Zimmerman

Colourized by Patty Allison

8. Louis Armstrong practicing in his dressing room, ca 1946

Original photo by William Gottlieb

Colourized by Dana Keller

9. Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge ca 1935

Original photo source unknown

Colourized by Dana Keller

10. Marilyn Monroe, 1957

Original photo by Richard Avedon ; Colourized by Zuzzah

11. Broadway at the United States Hotel Saratoga Springs, N.Y. ca 1900-1915

Original photo by Detroit Publishing Co.

Colourized photo by Sanna Dullaway

12. “The Tall Cowboy”, Ralph E. Madsen with Senator Morris Sheppard, 1919

Original photo Harris & Ewing

Colourized by Photo Retrofit

13. Dancers of the National American Ballet, 20 August 1924

Original photo by National American Ballet

Colourized by Photo Retrofit

14. Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, 1921

Original photo by Ferdinand Schmutzer

Colourized by Klassixx

15. Helen Keller meeting Charlie Chaplin in 1919

Original photo by Roy Export Company / Cineteca di Bologna

Colourized photo by Zuzahin

16. Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and the only surviving member of the Frank family revisiting the attic they spent the war in, 3 May 1960

Original photo by Arnold Newman

Colourized by Laiz Kuczynski

17. Young Woman with Umbrella – Louisiana, 1937

Original photo by Dorothea Lange

Colourized by Manuel De Leonardo

18. Crowded Bunks in the Prison Camp at Buchenwald, April 16, 1945

Original photo by Private H. Miller

Colourized by Manuel De Leonardo

19. Peatwy Tuck of the Meskwahki, 1898

Original photo by Frank A. Rheinhart

Colourized by Photocopshop

20. Boys after buying Easter flowers in Union Square, New York, April 1908

Original photo by Bain News Service.

Colourized by Dana Keller

Pretty amazing work! It’s so strange seeing the photo change emotion and setting just with colour. It shows how important it is.. to us a B&W photo feels sentimental, historic and full of mystery and wonder.

When brought to colour you immediately feel as though you are there, seeing it in your own eyes, its incredible to see these important historic moments in time in this new revamped version.

What do you think when you see them?