These breathtaking images of Ireland from more than a century ago, with vibrant hues, may look like they were brought back by a time traveler with a modern-day photo app. But the photos were actually taken before the invention of color photography. The postcard-style shots were infused with color using a process called Photochrom.
The time-consuming technique was invented by a Swiss printing company in the 1880s, a time when color photography was still not available commercially.
It involved a limestone tablet coated with light-sensitive emulsion that was put under the sun and a photo negative to rest — sometimes for hours. Different stones were created for different hues. The final product was a combination of many stones and different colors — just enough to capture the lush greenery of Ireland’s countryside or the blue mist steaming from a quiet lake.