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Once upon a time in America - Rediscovering the first color photographs of the New World

Once upon a time in America

Rediscovering the first color photographs of the New World


An American Odyssey

US$ 200
Multilingual Edition:
English, French, German
Availability: In Stock
These rediscovered Photochrom and Photostint postcard images from the private collection of Marc Walter were produced by the Detroit Photographic Company between 1888 and 1924. Using a photolithographic process that predated the autochrome by nearly 20 years, they offered people the very first color photographs of The United States. Suddenly, the continent's colors were available for all to see. The rich ochres and browns of the Grand Canyon, the dazzle of Atlantic City, became a visual delight not only for eyewitnesses, but for Americans far and wide.

Imbued with this sense of discovery and adventure, the pictures gathered here are a voyage through peoples, places and time at once. They take us through North America’s vast and varied landscape, encounter its many communities, and above all transport us back to the New World of over a century ago. Over more than 600 pages including fold-out spreads, this sweeping panorama takes us from Native American settlements to New York's Chinatown, from some of the last cowboys to Coney Island's heyday. As luminous now as they were some 120 years ago, these rare and remarkable images that brought America to Americans now bring American's past to our present.
  • “…almost as epic as its source material, with more than 600 pages packed with beautiful shots from the US’s formative period.”

    — Shortlist, London
  • “Even then, New York was a tale of two cities, the authors write, ‘paradise or inferno, gate of the New World, and a symbol of liberty and hope.”

    — New York Times, New York
  • “…an extraordinary voyage through the past – you will never see the United States in the same way again.”

    — The Lady, London
  • “…a moving look back at a new nation teetering on the brink of modernity.”

    — ELLE Décor, New York
  • “At the end of the book, you have the sense of having traveled the country into another, invisible time.”

    — Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles
  • “At 15.7 pounds and 600 pages, this is the heftiest and most pored-over book on our coffee table… the nationwide swath of scenery is breathtaking, shot when the West was Wild and the times were woolly.”

    — American Photo, New York
  • “This is a truly extraordinary book from TASCHEN… the images are as luminous now as they were over a century ago. A must-buy.”

    — AURA, Bury St Edmunds
  • “…a spectacular, century-old tapestry of the United States that unfurls, page by page, like a lost scroll of some of our nation’s earliest visual treasures.”

    — American Profile, Nashville
  • “I found many of the images truly beautiful, often awe-inspiring… Hours can pass simply reading store signs, or poring over faces among the masses on tenement-lined streets… An American Odyssey is a celebration of the North American continent made exceptional by its scope.”

    — South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
  • “From the buzz of New York City to the expansive canyons of Arizona, the collection provides a fascinating glimpse into America’s past, in all its vibrancy.”

    — Huffington Post, New York