Kyiv circa 1890 in color(ed) photographs

Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress.

Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress. 

History, Ukraine

The US Library of Congress hosts a number of unique colorized postcards from modern-day Ukraine made by the Detroit Photographic Company, a photographic publishing firm launched in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained the exclusive rights to use the Swiss “Photochrom” process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This process permitted the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The company existed until 1932, as the declining sale of photographs and postcards during World War I, and the introduction of new and cheaper printing methods used by competing firms brought them out of business. More information about the collection can be found here.

The colorizing method applied to monochrome photographs allows us to get a good feeling of how it was to actually live in Kyiv in those days!

A view of the Kyiv University. Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Kyiv University (the large red building at the top of the hill). Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Podol district of Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Podol district of Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Podol district of Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Podol district of Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the gate to the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the gate to the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The remote caves at the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The remote caves at the Lavra in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Commercial Club in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Commercial Club in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Catholic church in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Catholic church in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Volodymyr Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Volodymyr Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Nicholas Bridge in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Nicholas Bridge in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Michael Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Michael Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Michael Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Michael Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Andrew Church in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Andrew Church in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

On the Dnieper River in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

On the Dnieper River in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Mykolayivska Street in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Mykolayivska Street in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress.

Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress.

Askold's Tomb in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Askold’s Tomb in Kyiv, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

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