I love to look at old pictures, but most photos taken prior to the midpoint of the twentieth century are in black and white. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I do like the realism of color and I don’t think I’m alone in that feeling. That’s probably the main reason why the practice of hand-tinting pictures (which I’ve written about before) was popular for many years.
In any case, after looking at black and white photos it’s a little startling to come across a batch of sharp color pictures from the World War II era, like those featured a few years back in a special exhibit called Bound for Glory: America in Color. (I’ve included a few below, but you can see all 70 of them by following the preceding link.)
The prints are derived from color slides taken for several years beginning in 1939 by photographers hired by the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. They were meant to show how rural and small-town America had recovered from the Great Depression. Although they are just a little before my time, many of the scenes they depict could have come right out of my childhood.