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January 1, 2017

19 Beautiful Colorized French Pictorial Postcards From World War I

By the time of the Great War, photography was entering a robust seventy-fifth year. The cumbersome equipment and demanding processes of earlier battlefields had been replaced by the comparatively effortless Speed Graphic and Kodak Brownie cameras, collodion dry plate and gelatin roll film.

Perhaps more importantly, technological innovations such as chromolithography and rotogravure had made possible the mass-production of images that brought the apparent immediacy and inclusivity of the photograph to the offices, parlors and breakfast tables of millions in a quantity that presaged the deluge of pictures we experience today. Postcards, stereoviews, the picture press and the ubiquitous snapshot album carried news and sentiment to and from the front and the domestic sphere.

These brightly colored postcards, sent by French families and soldiers during World War I, are part of a set of similar cards available on Flickr from the George Eastman House. Because sending postcards to soldiers was postage-free during the conflict, the cards were mass-produced in great quantity and variety. Imagery offered solace and urged staunch resolve.

(Images via George Eastman House)



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