Journey Through Time with These Beautiful Polachrome Images Taken Over 115 Years Ago

It was back in the 1880’s when Swiss chemist Hans Jacob Schmid developed Polachrome technology—a unique color printing process enabling black-and-white photographs to be reproduced in full color. These stunning images were provided by the Swiss Camera Museum in Vevey and are on display at their “Tour of the World in Photochrome” exhibition running through August 21.

The lead photo depicts the Kremlin in Moscow, while the image below is a beautiful scenic photograph of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva.

The Polachrome process involved transferring black-and-white negatives onto as many lithographic stones as colors required in the final image. According to The Sun, the technique began to disappear during the first World War as color photography became more widespread.

The photographs in the exhibition depict vacationers at many of the most popular tourist destinations of the time, like the image below taken in Naples in 1899.

A few of the images depict more remote locations, like the following photograph captured in the Syrian Desert in 1895. You can see and read more on the Swiss Camera Museum website. You may even find inspiration for your next photographic journey.

semi's picture

Photochromes, not Polachromes.