A hundred years ago in Russia…
….was captured in color photographs…not the hand tinted postcard stuff –real magic thru chemistry. The inventor’s name was Sergei Prokudin-Gorkii, and he got carte blanche from the Tsar to roam the empire (in a customized rail car with photo lab built in!), aiming to take his triple-slide show to schools.
The revolution wiped away everything he had, save the 2000 plates he left the country with.
To gaze upon these pictures a second and third time, it dawns on the viewer that there aren’t any automobiles. Plenty of foot-paths, short-cuts-to-the-church-on-a-hill, and dirt roads (but not many). I suppose the serfs were all at work, out of camera range. Still, it looks edenic. Eden, minus the bicycle. But I know that Nabokov rode a bike…hmmm.
The Library of Congress bought the glass plates from his heirs in 1944, and only in 2000 did digital chromatography make complete restoration possible, yielding the museum show, The Empire that was Russia.
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Today’s subject: NO CALORIE LEFT BEHIND.