The folks at Picnooga have taken one of the most famous black and white images of Chattanooga and added a burst of vibrant color. Picnooga teamed up with Deep Zoom Chattanooga to offer an up-close view of all the details.
And there are plenty of details. Click here to see the full color image hosted on Deep Zoom Chattanooga.
The original 1907 image shows a bustling Market Street with famous buildings such as D.B. Loveman’s department store and Gass Bros. restaurant. The Deep Zoom treatment also offers a chance to view the faces of street-goers.
The concept of adding color to a historical black and white photograph has become a popular hobby for many history buffs. Anyone with photo-editing software can do it, and many do.
On Reddit.com, the subreddit r/colorizedhistory is filled with meticulously detailed images from every moment in history. Some recent examples include a farmer’s son playing in 1936 Kansas, Gen. William T. Sherman on horseback in 1864 and a Russian prisoner captured during the Winter War in about 1940.
David Moon is the founder of Picnooga, an online archive and digital collection of historical photos and other crowdsourced media featuring Chattanooga. He said colorizing the photo was a labor of love.
“I did this, as with all of the content I share on Picnooga, to keep the conversation of Chattanooga’s history top of mind and promote Chattanooga as a historical destination,” Moon said. “So making an old photo into something new to look at and rediscover is a win-win for our mission and the viewer.”
Moon spent about 50 hours colorizing this photo and plans to do more. He hopes it will become a way to help support Picnooga financially. The prints are currently being sold in a variety of sizes. The listing is only available for local pickup.
The original photo is on file with the Library of Congress Digital Archives.
YouTube has several tutorials on colorization.