Articles

These rare colorized photos show World War I like never before

At the time, World War I was the largest conflict ever fought by mankind. Over 8 million troops and nearly as many civilians died during the conflict. Because photography was in its infancy during the war, most of the images from that time are grainy black and white pictures.


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the war, Open University created an album last year of colorized World War I archival photos with the help of In the Company of Huskies. Check out a few of them here:

1. Troops tend a mobile pigeon loft used to send messages to the headquarters. According to BBC reports, 100,000 carrier pigeons served in World War I with a 95 percent success rate.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright London Transport Museum.

2. Soldiers with the 1st Australian Imperial Force pose in their camp in Australia.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright State Library of South Australia.

3. Indian infantrymen hold their trenches in 1915 while under threat of a gas attack.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright The British Library.

4. German field artillerymen pose with their 7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 field gun in 1914.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo: flickr/drakegoodman.

5. A group of soldiers go "over the top" during an advance.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright The British Library.

6. An Albanian soldier gets a haircut from an Alpine barber on the front lines in 1918.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright The British Library.

7. A young girl and boy ride in a decorated toy car during a fundraising event in Adelaide, Australia.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright State Library of South Australia.

8. A soldier and his horse wear their gas masks at the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps Headquarters.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright Library and Archives Canada.

9. Canadian infantrymen stand with the mascot of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Battalion in August 1916.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright Library and Archives Canada.

10. Cleveland Frank Snoswell returns home from the war to Australia.

Photo colorized by Open University. Original black and white photo copyright State Library of South Australia.

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