Color postcards depicting the life in Switzerland, 1890

These color photographs of Switzerland's vibrant landscapes and towns were created using the photochrome process, a technique that colors monochrome images with precision.

Although the prints may deceptively look like color photographs, in reality, artificial color has actually been added to black-and-white images. The process was invented in the 1880s by Hans Jakob Schmid, an employee of the Swiss printing company Orel Gesner Füsli. It was extremely time consuming and required great attention to detail.

The original tablet of lithographic limestone would be coated with a light-sensitive emulsion, placed under a negative photo, and exposed to sunlight for several hours. The soft parts will be removed with solvent, leaving a definite lithographic image on the stone.

Then a technician will create additional lithographic layers for each tone used in the final color image. When the photochromic process was complete, the result was a vibrantly colored postcard.

In the 20th century, Switzerland was a different place, and these impressive color photographs show towering, unexplored mountains, women wearing headscarves, small wooden huts and locals carrying out their everyday lives.

The construction of the railway in the late 19th century also had an impact on agriculture: grain could be imported cheaply, forcing farmers to increasingly switch to the more lucrative dairy farming. Many agricultural laborers had to find new work and either moved to industrial cities or migrated.

Real income in the industrial sector doubled between 1840 and 1900, while the share of income needed to meet basic necessities such as food and rent fell dramatically.

However, many workers paid a high price for this increase in disposable income: they worked very long hours, factories were noisy, smelly and dangerous places, and many urban working-class neighborhoods had poor living conditions and sanitation. was deplorable. Child labor was also common.

The development of the tourism industry coincided with the development of the railway, which made it easier for foreign visitors to travel in the country and take in its natural landscape and sights.

By the end of the 19th century, about 350,000 foreign tourists - mainly British - visited Switzerland each year. The development of summer and winter sports resorts was also thanks to these foreign guests.

Although foreign travel remained beyond the means of most people, affluent members of the middle class, such as the nobles and upper-middle class, could and did travel at least within Switzerland.

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