Rough, rugged, beautiful — this is what the people in the turn of the 19th century saw when they ventured across America. It was a land of opportunity and there’s an industrial revolution going on anywhere you turn your eyes to.
An American Odyssey is a magnificent piece of historical work. Authored by photographer Marc Walbert with the assistance of documentarian Sabine Arque, the book features the earliest “color” photographs of America. The photos included in the book are from Walter’s vast collection of Photocrom and Photostint images taken between 1888 and 1924.
Photocrom images are produced with a photoglithographic process — they are created by transferring black and white photographic negative on numerous lithographic stones. The process is intricate as each color required a different lithographic stones. The Detroit Photographic Company was known for their vivid color images and was a primary contributor to the craft. The technicians who handled the process were skilled craft workers. Dedication to the art and great attention to detail are just a couple of things needed to produce photocrom images.
The hardcover book is hefty both in content and size. It offers a look into the birth of a nation, a mixing pot of culture, and thriving industries across a young country. An American Odyssey tips the scales at almost 16 pounds with a total of 612 pages. The book is published by TASCHEN fine art books.
Information used in this article was sourced from TASCHEN.