The Amazing Vivid Photochromes of Tyrol, 1890

These wonderful postcards depict the Principality of Tyrol, a mountainous region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The images were created using the photochrome process, a revolutionary process in which ink-based images are produced through direct photographic transfer of an original negative onto litho and chromographic printing plates.

The technique was invented in the 1880s by Hans Jakob Schmid (1856–1924), working for the Swiss firm Orel Fusli. The prints deceptively look like color photographs. But when viewed with a magnifying glass small dots with an ink based photomechanical image are visible.

The photomechanical process allowed the mass production of vivid color prints. Each color in the final print required a separate asphalt-coated lithographic stone, usually at least six stones and often more than ten stones.

Tyrol is a historical region in the Alps in northern Italy and western Austria. The area was historically the core of the County of Tyrol, part of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Empire, and Austria-Hungary, from its formation in the 12th century until 1919.

In 1919, after the First World War and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, it was divided through the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Lay into two modern administrative parts: the Kingdom of Tyrol: annexation of North and East Tyrol. formed through, as part of Austria; The region of Trentino-South Tyrol was confiscated by the Kingdom of Italy in 1918, and was thus part of the Italian Republic since 1946.

The entire territory of Tyrol is located in the Alps. The important rivers in Tyrol are the Adige, the Inn and the Drau. The region is characterized by many valleys. Some of these valleys are difficult to reach even today. The most important valleys are the Inn Valley and the Adige Valley.

A large part of the population lives in these two valleys, and the five largest cities of Tyrol (Innsbruck, Bolzano, Trento, Merano and Roverato) are also located in these valleys.

For centuries, the region has been known for the transit trade. The most important trade route in the Alps, namely the Brenner Route, crosses the whole of Tyrol and is regarded as a connecting link between the Italian and German-speaking regions.

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