Rare Historical Photos In Color (Photo video and colorized comedies videos)

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I beg to differ. Over the years I’ve had many exchanges with people who detest the idea of colorized historical photos, or the colorization of black and white films. I think its one of the more fascinating scientific advances.

Yes, I understand the artistic arguments with leaving the images and performances in pristine black and white. But the reality is that colorization makes a photo or a film more like a real time machine: it’s in color and you’r looking at or watching something that looks as if it could be in your present era except it’s not. You can put yourself mentally back in that period in time, which is harder to do with a black and white image.

Here’s a great video of rare historical photos colorized by computer:

The person who did this video — a work of art in itself – writes:

Most of thephotos I took from Life magazine, Library of Congress, Shorpy and National
Geographic.

The text of the song entitled ‘Kilkelly Ireland’, penned by American song writer Peter Jones, whose great, great grandfather was John Hunt, from the general Kilkelly area. Back in the late 1970s or early 1980s, Peter found a box of old letters in the attic ofhis parents home in America. These were a series of letters written between
1860 – 1890, to John Hunt by his parents from their home in Kilkelly in
Ireland. The letters chronicled family news of births, deaths, marriages and
were written on behalf of the parents by local schoolmaster Pat McNamara. It shows the difficulties many families and our ancestors experienced when they immigrated to the U.S. I would suggest you watch it on full screen, if you don’t want to miss out some details.

I love the way some classic and not-so-classic comedies look colorized.

For instance, Laurel and Hardy’s Oscar-winning short “The Music Box,” colorized:

The Three Stooges’ “Bridelss Groom,” with Shemp Howard as the “Curley replacement.” (The opening singing lesson scene is one of my favorites).

An early colorization of the “I Love Lucy” opening that CBS put on its video releases of the full series years ago. Note the black and white versus color. Quite interesting and instructive:

Lucy was colorized with far more subtle tones for a CBS special last year which ran two colorized episodes. Excerpts:

A You Tuber colorized an episode:

Someone on You Tube experiments with colorization with an old Charlie Chaplin clip:

Someone experiments with software for colorization of Chaplin’s final speech in “The Great Dictator” — and runs the images side by side:

3 Comments

  1. That was great! Thanks, Joe. Do you think school children would be more interested in pictorial history books if they were in color? As far as b/w vs color, it’s nice to have both and people can look at their choice without grumbling about the other, one would hope.

  2. Thanks Joe that was great. Your occasional segues from the ‘here and now’ / ‘us vs. them’ atmosphere inherent in political blogs are both appreciated and informative. It’s good to add a touch of perspective to our day-to-day lives and you do it so well… I look forward to your next one.

  3. Thanks Joe. When I was a kid I loved the 3 stooges but my Mom wouldn’t allow us to watch it.. so I’d go across the street and watch it at a friends house. ;-)

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