Back in 1903, the Lumière Brothers invented autochrome technology, an innovative photographic technique that allowed for extraorinarily vivid color images. Now, while some of these rare photographs might seem photoshopped or enhanced, they are the real deal — and a remarkable glimpse of what Paris looked like during the first part of the 20th century.
These images are courtesy of the Paris 1914 project, an effort to archive these images. The pictures were taken between 1907 and 1930.
*Correction: These images were taken by Paris1914 from the Albert-Khan Museum.
*Update: And it appears that these photos were in fact adjusted by having the brightness of the colors enhanced.
From the website (translated from French by Google):
The technique was based on a composite of black and white emulsion passed through a series of colored filters (red, blue and green).
The presence of these filters reduced the sensitivity of the emulsion, where the length of the pause time required and the difficulty of capturing the movement. The first shots were made in Morocco in 1907. The process became a success such and some factories produced up to 6,000 plates per day! This technique was abandoned in 1935 in favor of the process Kodachrome, then Agfachrome the following year.
The banker Albert Kahn, eager to leave an imprint of the period, sent photographers across five continents to create the "Archives of the Planet." Its foundation is now a base of approximately 72,000 autochrome images
The images on this site are among others the work of Léon Gimpel, Stéphane Passet, Georges Auguste Chevalier and Leon.
Tons more here.