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Fascinating Early-20th-Century Color Photos of Famous People

There are some historical figures who we always think of in black and white. After all, the world trucked on in monochrome, Pleasantville-style, until the middle of the 20th century, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, color photography dates back to the mid-1800s — the first three-color process photo was taken in 1855, but it wasn’t until 1907 that the first commercially viable method of color photography, Lumière Autochrome, was invented — and perhaps unsurprisingly, photographers jumped to take snapshots of their famous friends. Below, some notable characters, from Mark Twain to Auguste Rodin, whom we usually see in black and white, showing their true colors.

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Mark Twain, photographed by Alvin Coburn, 1908. [via]

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