Odesa circa 1890 in color(ed) photographs

The Richelieu Stairs (aka Potemkin Stairs) in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Richelieu Stairs (aka Potemkin Stairs) in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress 

Culture, 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 Odesa in those days!

For a glimpse of Kyiv circa 1890 in the postcards of the Detroit Photographic Company, see here: Kyiv circa 1890 in color(ed) photographs

A view of the Odesa City Theater, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Odesa City Theater, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

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

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

A view of the Petite Fountain beach resort near Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

A view of the Petite Fountain beach resort near Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Andrew Estuary and Clinic near Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

St. Andrew Estuary and Clinic near Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Rue de Richelieu in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Rue de Richelieu in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Richelieu Stairs (aka Potemkin Stairs) in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Richelieu Stairs (aka Potemkin Stairs) in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Prison Square in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

Prison Square in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Palace of Justice and St. Pantelimon Church in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

The Palace of Justice and St. Pantelimon Church in Odesa, Ukraine circa 1890-1900. Image: Detroit Publishing Company via the Library of Congress

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