Bringing the past to life with colour


The Quatermass Xperiment

Quatermass Experiment 1955

Richard Wordsworth being transformed in a scene from the 1955 film “The Quatermass Xperiment”, an adaptation of the 1953 BBC television series, “The Quatermass Experiment”.

questermass experiment(1955)

Original B&W photo.

Mammy (1930)


Al Jolsen, in what looks like a publicity shot for his 1930 film, “Mammy”.



Original B&W photo.

The Windsors and the Führer


In October 1937, against the wishes of the British government, the former Edward VIII, now the Duke of Windsor, and his wife, the Duchess of Windsor, made a much publicised visit to Germany, during which he met Adolf Hitler.

Edward’s admiration for Hitler continued throughout the coming war, and beyond. apparently saying  to a friend privately: “I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap.”


Original B&W photo.

“We ARE Amused!”

Queen Victoria smiling, 1880s3

Queen Victoria, sometime in the 1880s.

Queen Victoria is thought by many to have been quite miserable. If you asked people who said “We are not amused”, most would automatically think of her. This popular image is mistaken, however. There is no record of her uttering those words, and those who knew her said she had a very good sense of humour.

Part of the reason for her dour reputation is that she always wore black after her husband, Prince Albert, died. She was also rarely photographed smiling, but that was the fashion of the day. If you look at any Victorian photo, you are unlikely to see any grins. It has been suggested that this is because the long exposure times of early cameras made it difficult to maintain a smile, but I think the habit may have started before photography. when sitting for a painted portrait took even longer.


Queen Victoria smiling, 1880s

Original sepia photo.

Edward VIII – “Stamp Duty”

King Edward VIII, by Hugh Cecil, 1936

This photo, taken by Hugh Cecil in 1936, was the basis for all of the stamps and coins that were to be issued in the UK during the reign of Edward VIII. Four stamps, 1/2d, 1d, 1 1/2d and 2d went on sale, but Edward abdicated before any coins were issued.


King Edward VIII, by Hugh Cecil, 1936

Original B&W photo.


Edward VIII stamp

The 1d stamp

Belva Lockwood


Belva Lockwood, lawyer, politician, educator, author and cyclist, photographed between 1865 and 1880 by Matthew Brady.

Unlike Victoria Woodhull, Belva Lockwood met all legal requirements when she stood for the presidency of the USA in 1884, and again in 1888.



Original B&W photo.

Victoria Woodhull


Victoria Woodhull, sometime between 1866 and 1873.

Constitutionally, the President of the USA must be at least 35 years old. Victoria Woodhull was only 34 when she was nominated by the newly formed Equal Rights Party in 1872 so, though she was the first woman to stand for the office, some historians claim that she shouldn’t be counted as she wouldn’t have been legally allowed to take office.



Original sepia cabinet card.



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