London in 1927 from Tim Sparke on Vimeo.

Around the time that technicolor features were first introduced to theaters, British film pioneer Clause Friese-Greene was experimenting with video travelogues using the color process that his father, a noted cinematographer, was experimenting with. Vimeo recently published Friese-Greene’s gorgeous video of London, filmed in 1926 for his cross-country travelogue The Open Road. 

Whether it’s because of the sheer beauty of the footage, the artistic juxtaposition of the video with the contemporary music played over it, the familiarity of the setting, the eerieness of looking into the faces of people so long gone, or the knowledge of what the World War II would hold for Londoners who were finally adjusting to peace after the first World War, the video has entranced thousands. You can watch it here, and watch Friese-Greene’s shorter travelogues of Petticoat Lane and Kensington Gardens from The Open Road here.

Check out this color video of New York City in 1939 and color photos of Paris from the early 20th century. Get in touch with the author @laraelmayan.

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