These incandescent pictures and postcards from the turn of the 19th century aren't true color photography — they were colored using a process known as photochrom that gave the landscapes they depict a fuzzy warm veneer.

Here's the description of the photochrom process from the Library of Congress:

Photochrom prints, also called Aäc, are ink-based images produced through "the direct photographic transfer of an original negative onto litho and chromographic printing plates." Hans Jakob Schmid (1856-1924), who worked for the Swiss firm Orell Füssli, invented the technique in the 1880s. Füssli published the prints through a company with the imprint Photochrom Zürich, later Photoglob Zürich. Other companies that licensed the process starting in the mid 1890s included the Detroit Photographic Company (later Detroit Publishing Company) in the United States and the Photochrom Company in London, England. [...] The prints look deceptively like color photographs. But when viewed with a magnifying glass the small dots that comprise the ink-based photomechanical image are visible. The photomechanical process permitted mass production of the vivid color prints. Each color in the final print required a separate asphalt-coated lithographic stone, usually a minimum of six stones and often more than ten stones.

The photochrom process preceded true color photography and gave each postcard's little slice of reality an ethereal wash. You can check out the Library of Congress' photochrom collection at the Flickr link below and at the LOC's main site.

[The Library of Congress' Flickr via John Coulthart]

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Andree's Station at Danskoen, Spitzbergen, Norway, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Kongen og Dronningen, Bispen, Norway, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Laatefos, Odde, Hardanger Fjord, Norway, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Loen, Kjendalskronebrae, Nordfjord, Norway, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Midnight sun in Advent Bay, Spitzbergen, Norway, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


General view, Ailsa Craig, Scotland, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Fingal's Cave, Staffa, Scotland, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Ruins of Brederode, Haarlem, Holland, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Yıldırım Beyazıt mosque, Bursa, Turkey, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Giant's Causeway. County Antrim, Ireland, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.

Dream-like nature photography from the 1890s


Blue grotto, Capri Island, Italy, between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900.