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

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

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

At the turn of the century, France experienced its Belle Époque. During this “beautiful age,” the country saw drastic advancements in art, culture, and technology. One particularly important invention that emerged at this time was the projected motion picture, which Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean Lumière patented in 1895. With this new technology, the Lumière Brothers captured contemporary life in 19th-century Paris, culminating in priceless footage we can still see today.

Shot between 1896 and 1900, this remarkable compilation takes viewers on a journey back in time. In six minutes, it showcases several sites around the French capital, including still-standing landmarks like Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Champs-Élysées, and the ten-year-old Eiffel Tower. In addition to featuring specific locations, it also offers a glimpse of daily life, from a scene showing firefighters on horseback to footage of children playing with petits bateaux (“little boats”) in the Tuileries Garden.

In order to set a lifelike scene, film restorer Guy Jones has slowed the footage to a natural speed and added ambient noise. When coupled with the video’s strikingly high quality, these alterations make it possible for people today to wander through the Golden Age of Paris.

At the turn of the century, the Lumière Brothers captured footage of Paris. This rare video features glimpses of Notre-Dame Cathedral…

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

Pont de l’Alma, or Alma Bridge…

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

The Place de la Concorde…

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

A passing fire brigade…

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

The Tuileries Garden…

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

A moving walkway at the Paris Exposition…

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

And the Eiffel Tower.

Lumiere Brothers 1890s Paris Footage 19th Century Paris

 

Watch this amazing 1890s Paris footage below.

h/t: [Open Culture]

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.

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