Early 20th Century Paris In Amazing Color

Published September 28, 2013
Updated February 9, 2018

Before the days of Photoshop, Instagram filters and instant home-editing software, there was little that could be done to adequately convey the energy, mood and spirit of a moment captured in time to its viewer.

Enter the Lumiere brothers in 1903 and their invention of autochrome technology (a composite of black and white emulsion passed through a series of red, blue and green filters), and you’re that much closer to showcasing the depth and dimension of subjects immortalized by film.

While the Lumiere brothers’ innovative method was abandoned in 1935 in favor of Kodachrome technology, they present a dreamy, serene and richly-saturated narrative on early 20th century Paris and its stunning architecture, including the Eiffel Tower:

Invalides, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Jardin
Invalides, 1909.

53 Rue Cambon
53 rue Cambon, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Vendeuses
Vendeuses de Moules, 1920.

Early 20th Century Paris Saint Cloud
Porte de Saint Cloud, 1920.

Early 20th Century Paris Roquette
Rue de la Roquette, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Rambuteau
Rue Rambuteau, 1914.

Rue du Pot de Fer
Rue du Pot de Fer, 1914.

Pont Alexandre III
Pont Alexandre III, 1914.

Early 20th Century Paris l'Ecole Polytechnique
Rue de l'Ecole Polytechnique, 1914.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame, 1920.

Boulevard Exelmans
Boulevard Exelmans, 1920.

Early 20th Century Paris Madeleine
Madeleine, 1914.

La Seine
The Seine, 1914.

Jardins du Trocadéro
Jardins du Trocadéro, 1920.

Hotel de Ville
Hôtel de Ville, 1918.

Early 20th Century Paris Pont de la Concorde
Pont de la Concorde, 1914.

Pathé Gobelins, 1918.

Trocadéro, 1937.

Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower, 1912.

Avenue Hoche
Avenue Hoche, 1924.

Early 20th Century Paris Angle Boulevard
Angle Boulevard Raspail, 1914.

All images come courtesy of Paris 1914, which seeks to restore these rare photos to their original glory.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.