February 8, 2018

Rarely Seen Color Photographs of London During World War II

These color photos of London, spanning from the dark days of the Blitz to the triumphant celebrations of VE Day, were taken in Dufaycolor, a little-known photography process. They give another perspective on the period between 1943 and 1945 when Nazi Germany carried out a sustained aerial bombing campaign against Britain.

Introduced as cinematic film in 1932 and roll film in 1935, Dufaycolor was based on a four-color screen process developed by French chemist Louis Dufay. It was one of the last additive color processes to be marketed, consisting of a fine screen of red, green and blue filter lines printed over a film emulsion.

Though it was popular among professional and amateur photographers until the 1950s, Dufaycolor was ultimately surpassed by Kodachrome and other superior color processes.

Bomb damage to a London street. Dec. 16, 1943.

St. Paul’s cathedral stands intact amid buildings destroyed by bombing. Dec. 10, 1943.

The Old Bailey law courts, damaged by German bombing. Dec. 10, 1941.

Houses destroyed by German bombing. 1943.

Allied flags are displayed in celebration of victory in Europe. Sept. 3, 1945.

The Admiralty Arch is decorated with Allied flags in celebration of VE Day. Sept. 3, 1945.

Crowds on The Mall, London, 1945.

Sept. 3, 1945.

The Mall, London, 1945.

Admiralty Arch, London, 1945.

The Palm House in Kew Gardens. Sept. 3, 1945.

Barges on the River Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament. Dec. 10, 1945.

Dec. 10, 1945.

Nelson’s Column festooned with flags to celebrate VE Day. Sept. 3, 1945.

A double-decker bus in London, 1945.

(Photos: SSPL/Getty Images, via Mashable/Retronaut)

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