Full of farms and shacks, the capitol city of the United States wasn't exactly imposing 200 years ago. Politicians lived three to a room in modest boardinghouses, and the White House was surrounded by a fence to keep out wandering cows.

This amazing film created by Dan Bailey, director of the Imaging Research Center (IRC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is the result of years of painstaking work and research. It turns out that we have only spotty visual records of Washington, DC from that time - so Bailey worked with a team of historians, engineers, cartographers, and visualization experts to create the most detailed-ever portrait of the city from that era. Even if you're not intrigued by Washington, DC in particular, you'll be riveted by the artistry involved in recreating this vanished era in American history.

Spotted on Open Culture