Spectacular color postcards of the castles and moors of 1890 Scotland
The beach at Portobello.
Image: Library of Congress
These postcards of Scotland at the end of the 19th century were produced by the Detroit Publishing Company using the Photochrom process, a technique for applying vibrant and surprisingly realistic color to black and white images.
The process, invented in the 1880s by an employee of a Swiss printing company, involves coating lithographic limestone tablets with a light sensitive emulsion and exposing them to light under a photo negative.
For each tint to be used in the final color composite, an additional litho stone is created
The process was extremely time-consuming and required painstaking attention to detail, but the result was color postcards which captured the cities, moors, and ruined castles of Scotland with an impressive degree of verisimilitude, particularly at a time when true color photography was just being developed. Read more…
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