54 Russian People 100 Years Ago in Color

Russian People 100 Years Ago in Color

Posted on January 25, 2007 by

Russia 100 years ago

He travelled to all the distant parts of Russian Empire. This is for example a dweller of Turkmenia, now Turkmenistan. Camels were the common way of transportation for cargo even when trains were introduced to locals by Russian government.
We had already before some photos of this photographer, who managed to make color photos of Russia 100 years ago in 1900-1910. It’s amazing to see the life back there in full color. He had a special task to travel across all the Russian Empire (that’s how Russia was called that times before Communism) and make thousands of such photos for a Royal Depositary. So he made literary thousands of color photos of Russia 100 years ago.

Russia 100 years ago

These are owners of Military Factory on Ural, region close to Siberia.

Russia 100 years ago

Mill-houses made of unpainted wood, which became gray after many rains.

That’s a middle of the summer in Siberia.


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54 Responses to “Russian People 100 Years Ago in Color”

  1. dave says:

    the library of congress has this on exhibition

  2. A fan says:

    Just wanted to tell you that your blog is fantastic.
    You know what I´m talking about: FAN TAS TIC!

    In a world with so many boring blogs, englishrussia is just refreshing! Thanks

  3. Delicious says:

    I’m a big fan of this type of photography. He had to make 3 exposures using three different color filters. The people in the photos had to stand or sit perfectly still. You’ll notice that they are all sitting, leaning on something, or standing in a way that makes this easy.)

    If they move, the photos will have a odd color shadow around them. You can see this effect on the animals and on the a few of the people.

    This is a very difficult method of photographing live subjects, and it makes me wonder how many tries each of these photos took before we got the ones we see.

  4. man says:

    Actually, russian people on pictures 2, 7 and so on…
    1st and last and similar pictures – they are not russians.

  5. these are really fantastic! Thanks!

  6. Bishop Brennan says:

    Now this is more like what English Russia should post up. Kudos.

  7. Acts_of_Atrocity says:


  8. Chris says:

    Nice! Those were really great.

  9. Eric says:

    I love this site so much. Seeing all of the pictures and stories from this point of view is really amazing in comparison to America’s. It makes me hate m country’s people more and more every day.

    Keep up the spectacular work my friend.

  10. Texas1 says:

    Great stuff! Bravo!!

  11. Steve says:

    These are amazing and wonderful photos. They really make the past come alive. Remarkable. Thank you.

  12. Christy in LA says:

    Thank you. The pics are incredible.

  13. Alexander says:

    I seen that photos in the Russian Museum in Saint-Petersburg in 2003. Really perfect.
    It is pity, that you’re not represented all the photos here.

  14. Ari says:

    Excellent job! It was like having an opportunity to peek in to past centuries.

    Well done!

  15. great choice of fotos and a very interesting post!


  16. smokeydog says:


  17. someguy3030 says:

    thanks!!! excellent pictures. would love to see more!

  18. eye says:

    Excellent pictures. Much more of this please, especially from across the whole of Russia. There’s more to Russia than Moscow and cars. Please show the wide spread of the different people.

  19. Acts_of_Atrocity says:

    It would be hard to post them all here. Prokudin-Gorsky made hundreds of those.

  20. /dev/null says:

    Really old color photographs…

    I’ve seen these photographs about a half-dozen times over the last few years, but they’re absolutely fascinating, and therefore worthy of yet another mention. They’re color photographs taken all over the Russian empire in the first few years of the….

  21. [...] This remarkable color photo was taken by a Russian photographer 100 years ago, but the little shop and its proprietor could have come from the time of Tamerlane. This is what the Old Silk Road must have looked like. English Russia has a fantastic collection of these exotic old photos. [...]

  22. Hollandski Hollandski says:


    And Delicious (post 4), thank you for your interesting comment.

    I love this blog!!!

  23. sbull.net says:

    Amazing photos! But you don’t mine steel :P You mine iron and make steel

  24. [...] Both English Russia and Carpetblogger recently highlighted the color photos of the Russian Empire from the early 1900s taken by the photographer, Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky. He used a technique of taking photo plates utilizing red, green, and blue filters, and by recombining these plates, a color image can be wonderfully reproduced. In his day, he used a special projector to illuminate the glass images to make color presentations. [...]

  25. Richard S. says:

    I am going to have to say nyet. I don’t think color photography was available in those days.They must be computer enhanced color photos…

  26. an aussie from afar says:

    I agree with “a fan”.
    I love *cough* ancient Russian culture and heritage, probably stemming from the great novels from that time. Photography in this way I can never get enough of. Kudos to the maker and more of it!

  27. Olya says:

    Good photos,really
    But nowdays Russia completely not such as on these photos
    its very pleasantly, that the culture of Russia is interesting to you)

  28. Iran says:

    i read all the comments made, and like to share my feeling with all the ones who wrote their comments and praised the work done by a very special artist.
    the work is beautiful, keep it up and like to see more of it.

  29. JZ says:

    Very interesting website. I visited rural and urban Russia in Autumn 2005. I’ve posted your website link to the “Earth Intelligence Network” Twitter feed

  30. outstanding!

    i’ve heard about some such photos taken at royal wedding in UK that times, but i didn’t knew it wasn’t stand-alone experiment

    this photos are great, it’s like looking through a time-window, like listening to rachmaninoff pianola recordings

  31. Mikhail says:

    Some of the photos are from Samarkand, which is Uzbekistan today but back than it was a territory of Russian Empire

  32. Gerhard says:

    This is soooo cool! Please do publish more! Love your work :)

  33. Tolis says:

    That was a truly special article out of a time machine,its weird feeling to see my ancestors-i am greek-here…BUT..i and i think most of us would like to know a bit of the history that lies behind these pics…Clearly i know too that camels were used in many countries,like turkey,note from arabs or egypt alone…

  34. Rebecca says:

    Great photos!

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  37. Milan Goeden says:

    Awesome blog post, thanks for keeping me busy!

  38. Fluffzig says:

    errr yeah.. really nerdish- anyone who even looks at this website is sooo a geek with big spectacles

  39. NimBrank says:

    I like your posts, one wonders)

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  47. alph says:

    ya… coool… but its not clear…..

  48. alph says:

    and Russia has its own culture … but thats not shone here..

  49. Yanov Uskhar says:

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