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December 7, 2015

Fascinating Color Photographs of World War I and Russian Revolution Found in a California Home's Basement

Photographer Anton Orlov recently discovered over 600 color images from World War I on "Magic Lantern" slides in a house in Northern California. The images depict snow-covered villages, train tracks, bullet-riddled buildings, and soldiers in trenches, by houses and on trains. The slides were hand-colored and are still in good condition.

Orlov learned that the photographer was John Wells Rahill, a pastor who graduated from Yale University in 1906. Rahill used a Kodak Jr. #1 roll film camera to capture the images. When he returned from his trip through Europe, China and Japan, he had his best images converted into "Magic Lantern" slides, a type of image that is hand painted and can be projected.

A train is seen sometime in either late 1917 or early 1918 in Russia.

A Russian machine gunner poses alongside another soldier while holding his weapon before a snow-covered bunker.

A group of Cossack soldiers pose for Mr Rahill's Kodak camera's lens.

The Pskov Kremlin is seen photographed, while its colour later hand painted like the rest of the hundreds of glass Magic Lantern slides.

A group of Russian soldiers are seen shooting at what is only described with the photograph's notes as a suspicious house.

Men are seen warmly dressed outside a train station, a few perhaps curiously watching the camera.

Soldiers on the front lines are seen in a bunker while wearing gas masks over their face.

Russian women are photographed posing with strings of onions.

One of the so-called Soldiers House Mr Rahill helped create in Valk is pictured with all of its men standing proudly outside.

Mr Rahill is seen here in this photo taken in Russia where he stands among three village children.

These are just some of the YMCA members who joined Mr Rahill's efforts in Russia during the revolution.

Photographed in Russia is the inside of one of the YMCA Soldiers Club interiors by Mr Rahill.

A badly damaged building in Russia is seen on a street corner where people are captured otherwise going about their daily lives.

An Asian man is photographed carrying two water barrels on street.

Four YMCA members stand before the mighty Great Wall of China.

Two boys are photographed partially hiding inside a large urn.

(Photos Anton Orlov, via Daily Mail Online)


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