Colorized Vintage Video Shows Life in Famous Cities Over 100 Years Ago

It's easy to look at photos of people who lived in the past and assume that they were stern and serious. This is greatly due to the time-consuming photography techniques of the 19th century, which meant that they often had to sit in the same position for several minutes as the photo developed. However, vintage videos—which were often taken candidly and without a large time commitment on the part of the people they featured—shed new light on what life looked like over a century ago.

Recently, a YouTube channel called Lost in Time has revisited footage taken by the famous Lumière brothers in 1896, colorized it, and combined it into one video. The 17-minute video features footage from famous cities such as New York City, Paris, Barcelona, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Kyoto. Thanks to the channel, this footage—and the people in it—has been given new life.

One of the highlights of the video is a joyous snowball fight between adults somewhere in France. Even when a man riding by on his bicycle gets knocked off by a stray snowball, he briefly joins in the fun. Everyone is beaming as they pelt each other with fresh snow. Another clip from Lyon, France, captures an exciting potato sack race down a road in the village. A different memorable moment occurs in Barcelona as a deck worker pauses on a ramp to strike a pose for the camera. His coworker nudges him from behind, encouraging him up the ramp, even as the man continues to extend his arms and look at the camera.

Though all of the people in these videos are presumably no longer with us, the footage serves as a reminder that we really aren't that far removed from our ancestors. No matter what era we live in, we have always been mesmerized by video cameras—and photobombing.

Lost in Time: YouTube | Patreon
h/t: [Open Culture]

Related Articles:

Artificial Intelligence Revitalizes 1902 Footage of a “Flying Train” Ride Through a German Town

130-Year-Old Video Footage Lets You Explore Everyday Life in 1890s Paris

Artificial Intelligence Brings New Life to a 1911 Film About Life in New York City

Newly Discovered 31 Rolls of Film Shot by an Unknown Soldier During WWII

Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content