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55 Incredible Historical Color Photos From 80 Years Ago

Rare Collection | September 2, 2015

lhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham) who lived around 1000 AD, invented the first pinhole camera, also called the camera obscura. But it wasn't until 1827 did Joseph Niepce captured the first image using a camera obscura.

In the early 1940s, the world was wowed with a major leap in the history of photography when color films were finally introduced to the market.

Here are some of the most wonderful color photos taken during the Great Depression and World War II, a time we generally see only in monochrome. Enjoy!

 
A woman is working on a "Vengeance" dive bomber with a hand drill, Vultee-Nashville Tennessee, February 1943.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Alfred Palmer

Parris Island, S.C., Barrage Balloon, May 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Alfred Palmer

A House in Houston, Texas, May 1943.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: John Vachon

Georgia oat field, southern U.S, circa 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marion Post Wolcott

Sylvia Sweets Tea Room, Brockton, Massachusetts, circa 1940s.

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Title from The Library of Congress │ Photographer: Jack Delano

At the Vermont state fair, Rutland, September 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Backstage at the "girlie" show at the Vermont State Fair, September 1941.

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Title from the FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Ice skating in Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Commuters, who have just come off the train, wait for the bus to go home, Lowell, Massachusetts, January 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Children gather potatoes on a large farm, Caribou, Maine. Schools don't open until the potatoes are harvested, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

A woman painting the Shenandoah Valley from Skyline Drive, near an entrance to the Appalachian Trail, Virginia, circa 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Cornshocks in farm along Skyline Drive in Virginia, circa 1940.

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Title from the Library of Congress │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Natchez, Mississippi, August 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marion Post Wolcott

Laborers pick cotton near Clarksdale, Mississippi, November 1939.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marion Post Wolcott

Going to town on Saturday afternoon, Greene County, Geogia, May 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Day laborers chopping cotton near White Plains, Georgia, June 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Sawmill at the Greensboro Lumber Co., Greensboro, Georgia, June 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI│ Photographer: Jack Delano

White Plains, Geogia, circa 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Farmers and townspeople gather in the center of town on Court day, Campton, Kentucky, September 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marion Post Wolcott

Mountaineers and farmers trading mules and horses on "Jockey St.," Campton, Kentucky, September 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marion Post Wolcott

Abandoned shacks, Beaufort, S.C., June 1939.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marion Post Wolcott

4th of July celebration, St. Helena Island, S.C., July 1939.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marion Post Wolcott

On the main street of Cascade, Idaho, July 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Cherry orchards and irrigation ditch, Emmett, Idaho, July 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Milk and butter depot and creamery, Caldwell, Idaho, July 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Canning plant where peas primarily are canned, Milton-Freewater, Oregon, July 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Workers picking peaches in a peach orchard, Delta County, Colo., September 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Delta County Fair, Colorado, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Looking down the valley toward Ouray from the Camp Bird Mine, Ouray County, Colorado, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Instructor explaining how a parachute works to student pilots, Meacham field, Fort Worth, Texas, January 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Arthur Rothstein

A boy building a model airplane (as girl watches), FSA, Robstown, Texas, January 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Arthur Rothstein

Boys flying a kite in front of a community center, FSA ... camp, Robstown, Texas, January 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Arthur Rothstein

Boys sitting on a parked truck at the FSA ... labor camp, Robstown, Texas, January 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Arthur Rothstein

Couples dancing, McIntosh County, Oklahoma, circa 1940s.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Distributing surplus commodities, St. Johns, Arizona, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Jack Whinery, homesteader, with his family, Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Harvesting corn in Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Rodeo show at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Cutting pies and cakes at the barbecue dinner during the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair, October 1940.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Russell Lee

Sugar cane workers taking their noon break, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, December 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Son of an FSA farmer on the Rio Piedras project who brought lunch to his father, working in the sugar cane field, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, January 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Lunch of a sugar worker on a plantation, Puerto Rico, January 1942.

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│ Photographer: Jack Delano

Workers at the roundhouse of the C & NW RR Proviso Yard, Chicago, Ill., December 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Working on a locomotive boiler at the 40th Street shops of the C & NW RR, Chicago, Illinois, December 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Jesse Rhodes Waller, A.O.M., third class, trying out a newly installed 30-caliber machine gun in a Navy plane, Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas, August 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Howard Hollem

Cadet L. Deitz at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas, August 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Howard Hollem

Women started joining the production army. Miss Grace Weaver, is doing her part for victory along with her brother who is a flying instructor in the Army. Miss Weaver paints the American insignia on newly repaired Navy plane wings, August 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Howard Hollem

Pennsylvania R.R. ore docks, unloading iron ore from a lake freighter, Cleveland, Ohio, May 1943.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Garden of Pan American Union Building, Washington, D.C., May 1943.

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Titles based on USW36-738 │ Photographer: John Collier

Women workers installing fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17 bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif., October 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Alfred Palmer

Woman aircraft worker checking electrical assemblies, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, California, June 1942.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: David Bransby

Going to town on Saturday afternoon, Greene Co., Georgia, May 1941.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Jack Delano

Camouflage class in New York University, New York, N.Y. They make models from aerial photographs, re-photograph them, then create a camouflage scheme and make a final photograph, March 1943.

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Title from FSA or OWI │ Photographer: Marjory Collins

Color guard of Negro engineers, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, circa 1940s.

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Title from FSA or OWI

H/T Atchuup

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