Sometime in late 2004, while looking at the blog, Vodkapundit – a great blog, btw – I came across an external link he had to some interesting photos of World War I. What made them of interest was that they were in color! I saved them to my hard drive, and I’m glad I did... the site that had them up ended up removing them.
So I decided to go looking for others on the web. I came across the site, Gallica, bibliothèque numérique de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, There I found all of the images you see here, but, alas, the text was all in French, and the last time I spoke French with any frequency or fluency was 45 years ago! So, initially, I had to use an online translator to get the English text.
Later, Gert in Canada, Didier in Belgium and David in France helped with translating the original French wording which appears below each photo. Any translations errors which remain I must lay sole claim to.
Given the number of images, I have categorized them as follows:
- Gallica 79 H & V, Gallica 80 H & V, Gallica 81-1 H, Gallica 81-2 H, Gallica 81 V, Gallica 82 H, Gallica 79 H & V, Gallica 80 H & V, Gallica 81-1 H, Gallica 81-2 H, Gallica 81 V, Gallica 82 H, Gallica 82 V, Gallica 83 H, Gallica 83 V, Gallica 84 H, Gallica 84 V, Gallica 85 H, Gallica 85 V and Gallica 86 H.
- These can all be accessed from the drop down menu at the top of the page.
Although color photography was around prior to 1903, the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, patented the process in 1903 and developed the first color film in 1907. The French army was the primary source of color photos during the course of World War One.