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1838-2019: Street Photography - A Photo For Every Year

posted by Jason Kottke   May 28, 2019

This video is so far up my alley that I’m now charging it rent. (For parking in the alley. Yeah, I don’t know how metaphors work.) Anyway, this 20-minute film is a collection of photography of street scenes, from the very first photo ever taken of a person in 1838 (by Louis Daguerre) to a crowded market in Glasgow in 1869 to a ghostly Norwegian street scene in 1882 to NYC’s Mulberry St in 1900 to a newsie selling newspapers about the Titanic disaster in 1912 to more modern scenes, presented chronologically one photo per year. Along the way, you see the development of history, fashion, and technology — the people in the photos get crisper and clearer as shutters quicken and film improves.

My only complaint is that many of the photos after 1900 and into the 40s & 50s have been artificially colored…and distractingly so. Why not just feature the original B&W versions? Believe me, I understand the appeal & impact of seeing the past in color, but these colorized versions greatly detract from the historical value of this video. (via aeon)