Albert Kahn meant his Les Archives de la Planète (Archives of the Planet) to provide a snapshot of the world. ‘I want to use these techniques on a grand scale,” he said, “to capture definitively all the aspects, practices and methods of human activities whose absolute disappearance is merely a question of time.”
The Frenchman began his project well over 100 years ago, starting in 1909 and ending in 1931. He despatched photographers to every continent, each equipped with an Autochrome Lumiere, the first true colour photographic process, invented by the Lumière brothers in 1903.
Over 72,000 colour images were taken. Among them were these fabulous pictures of his home city of Paris from 1914. The colour has not been added. These are original colour photographs taken by Leon Gimpel, Stephane Passet, Georges Chevalier and Auguste Leon.
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