Russia, 1896, in Color

Russia in the year 1896

Russia. 100 Years Ago. Again. We had it from Russian photographer Prokudin-Gorsky
whose photos are being stored in the Library of Congress in USA, but now it’s totally different
case. Photos were made by Czech photographer while on his travel thru Russia back in the
year 1896. Most of them were lost later due to two wars in Europe and other tragical things but
some still managed to survive till our year 2009 and now we can see them here.

It’s a big pity that there are only such a few of them left.

Russia in the year 1896 1

Russia in the year 1896 2

Russia in the year 1896 3

Russia in the year 1896 4

Russia in the year 1896 5

Russia in the year 1896 6

Russia in the year 1896 7

Russia in the year 1896 8

Russia in the year 1896 9

Russia in the year 1896 10

Russia in the year 1896 11

Russia in the year 1896 12

Russia in the year 1896 13

Russia in the year 1896 14

Russia in the year 1896 15

Russia in the year 1896 16

Russia in the year 1896 17

Russia in the year 1896 18

Russia in the year 1896 19

Russia in the year 1896 20

Russia in the year 1896 21

Russia in the year 1896 22

Russia in the year 1896 23

The previous posts on this you can see here and here, one of them boasts hundred plus photos.

51 thoughts on “Russia, 1896, in Color”

  1. So, I’m wondering why those people are standing around a pile of clothes in the mostly black and white photo. And my darn religious upbringing makes me think that giant wooden boat looks just like Noah’s Ark. Excellent photos, and thanks for sharing!

      • this is a photo from Khodynka in Moscow. It was a fest there
        during the coronation of Nikolay II. Since there were too many people, a jam began, and about 1500 people were crushed to death. Obviously, this is one of the victims.

    • that photo is from the infamous Khodynka Tragedy.. “The Khodynka Tragedy was a mass panic that occurred on May 18, 1896, on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities following the coronation of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II, which resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people.”

  2. Good photographs!!! Again I can not help but feel sadness when realizing how great Russia was with enterprising people and ambition and community sense everywhere. Look what it is today. Greedy moneygrabbers trying to ‘steal’ what they can from family, neighbours, others. No consious! Ego and egoism are the primary thing. Sad. Dad.. russia is in decline and sick.

  3. Excellent photos. Not a lot of people around in some of the pictures. I really get a feel for how much population has increased since they were taken.

  4. Some of theese are real color photographs by Prokudin Gorskii, but some are hand-coloured black-and-white photographs.

    Here are some more of the Prokudin Gorskii’s photos:

  5. Prokudin-Gorsky did real color photography and this ones are just b/w photos artificially colored. But anyway, they’re very interesting.

  6. one thing is not right on these pics, especially one where we can see electricity – 8th from a top. Mr. Edison has discovered the bulb in 1879, it is hard to believe that from that time, after 15 years electricity industry was on so high level in russia that it was everywhere.
    Don’t you think?

    • @staniu
      Where do you see any light bulbs on this photos? I see only telegraph (telephone?) wires and street lamps (but they can be, and probably are, gas lamps as well).

    • Guess the picture was taken around 1896.
      (Yes i am very intrested i early electric history… Not to offend or so, but as i remember from my book studies the first commersial power stations was build around 1880 )

  7. I don´t knew, but a possibility is that it was for for some sort of electric arc light, electric arch light was popular before the vacum/gas light bulbs as we knew it today was invented. (and often continued use even after that to lighten up bigger areas)

    • I would say those would have to be carbon-arc lamps, which were widely used before Edison’s incandescent filament light bulb. Since carbon-arc light is blindingly brilliant and harsh, the lamps had to be mounted on tall poles far above the city’s streets. The ropes or wires paralleling the poles down to street level were probably for striking the arc, which likely was done manually each night.

  8. Nevsky Prospect with hardly any traffic, carriages moving so slowly that you can easily cross the street… a situation one can only dream of now when one sees the hectic traffic in the centre of St Petersburg.

  9. Fantastic Photos. I wish there were explanations. The double decker horse wagons and the 3 decker boat are amazing. How was the boat powered? I’d assume it was coal fired steam engine paddle wheeler like a Mississippi River boat in America, but I dont see smoke stacks. Maybe it was a barge. Very cool!

  10. great pics…these type of pics are as valuable now as any work of art in my opinion,perhaps more…Obviously one cant go back there and take more…

  11. Thanks for posting these. I have a great interest in late 1800s, early 1900s Russia.

    I have some photos from a June 1906 magazine of the opening of the Duma including photo of the Tsar’s entrance, and a few portraits of Duma members, along with an interesting (if western-biased) article. Maybe someday I’ll scan it and put it online somewhere…

    thanks again

  12. In the first and fifth photos,the Dostoyevskian spirit is certainly made image,the Orthodox culture at his best.
    The presence of God in the poorest,dark and homeless people who decides to believe in God with humility.The poorest lived with direct contact with God in the Dostoyevskian world.
    The eternal hope in the suffering,wich will become the esence of Russia’s people is extremly well reflected in those photos.

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