Window on Early America

Vintage color photos reveal nation’s late-1800s beauty

 

An American Odyssey

By Marc Walter & Sabine Arqué

Hardcover, 600 pages (Taschen, $200)

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Yes, it’s pricey, and if it falls on your foot, you’ll know it—it’s one seriously big, heavy book. But it’s also a thing of beauty and wonder: a stunning collection of the first color photographs ever taken of America. Produced between 1988 and 1924 and marketed as picture-postcards by the Detroit Photographic Company, these images capture people, places and goings-on from nearly every state (at that time), in stunning clarity—wide open spaces, packed city streets, cowboys and Indians, miners and mill workers, railroads and rivers—a spectacular, century-old tapestry of the United States that unfurls, page by page, like a lost scroll of some of our nation’s earliest visual treasures.

 

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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