August 13, 2020
From Black and White to Color
A coloring activity with historic photos of Herreshoff boats
The original photo of #461 from the HMM historic photo archive
Experiments with color photography began in the 1840s, around the same time N.G.H. was born! But color photography did not become widely available to home photographers until almost 100 years later. In the 1930s, the Kodak Eastman Company introduced Kodachrome film. Before then, if you encountered what appeared to be a color photo, it was probably “colorized.” This means that a black and white photo produced from a black and white negative was manually colored in by hand after it was printed. The color in “colorized” photos did not actually show what the real colors were at the time a photo was taken, but it was a way of giving an impression of what the scene might have looked like. Not unlike coloring books today, a lot was up to the interpretation of whoever was doing the coloring.
Today, we invite you to add your own color to three iconic black and white photos of Herreshoff boats. Click the button above to download and print the images we have provided and try it the old-fashioned way by coloring over them with colored pencil, marker or crayon at home. We have made a simpler version of the images for download so you don’t use up all the ink in your home printer, but you can reference the original photos below to help guide your color schemes. You can go traditional, or get creative! As always, feel free to share your results with us by email, or by tagging us on Instagram @herreshoff or uploading a photo to our Facebook page. We love seeing what you come up with!
Click on any of the images below or on the right to see them full-screen: