In 1909, millionaire French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn set out to use the world’s first true color photographic process to produce a color photographic record of human life on Earth.

Over the next two decades, Kahn’s photographers shot over 100 hours of film footage and 72,000 images in what became the most important and influential collection of early color photographs of all time. Yet, for decades, the collection remained virtually unknown, until it was rediscovered in the 1980s.

(via The Dawn of the Color Photograph: How Albert Kahn Cataloged Humanity | Brain Pickings)

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