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UK Museum Restores First Known Color Film

  • Gizmag, Tuesday, September 18, 2012 3 AM

A piece of history has been rescued from oblivion with the National Media Museum in Bradford, United Kingdom, revealing a restoration of the first known color motion picture. Shot as a test reel by British inventor Edward Raymond Turner (1873 - 1903) in 1901/2, it was long thought to have been a practical failure until restored by the museum, which is showing the film to the public for the first time 110 years after its making.

Backed financially by Frederick Lee, Turner didn’t use photosensitive dyes the way later color film stock did. Instead, he used what is called an “additive” process, which he patented in 1899. If you look at the film, you’ll see that it looks like it’s in black and white. What Turner did was to place a wheel containing a blue, green and red filter in front of the film.

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