WHEN ONE knows Paris as it is now – cramped, noisy, polluted – it is hard to imagine that it used to look like a village with women selling flowers out of carts, horse-drawn vehicles on the Alexandre III Bridge, and a traffic-free Place de la Concorde.

The following images, captured between 1907 and 1930, were taken using the autochrome Lumière process, an early method of photography that allowed artists to capture the world around them in its natural colours. It is believed that most of the pictures featured below were taken by Léon Gimpel, Stéphane Passet, Georges Chevalier, and Auguste Léon. Thanks to Nicolas Bonnell and his blog Paris Unplugged, we are now able to see what Paris looked like over 100 years ago.

1

Flower merchant, Cambon Street, June 1918

Photo: Auguste Léon

2

Faubourg Saint Denis Street, 1914

Photo: artist unknown

3

On the Alexandre III Bridge

Photo: artist unknown

4

Homeless man by the River Seine

Photo: artist unknown

5

Gardens of Les Invalides, 1909

Photo: artist unknown

6

Family on Pot de Fer Street, June 24th, 1914

Photo: artist unknown

7

Citroën Commercial on the Eiffel Tower for the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts

Photo: Artist unknown

8

Military man at Les Invalides, 1918

Photo: artist unknown

9

Place du Caire, 1914

Photo: Stéphane Passet

10

Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, 1920

Photo: artist unknown

11

Montparnasse Street, July 22nd, 1914

Photo: Stéphane Passet

12

Christmas decorations at La Samaritaine, 1930

Photo: artist unknown

13

Auteuil metro station, 1920

Photo: Frédéric Gadmer

14

Place de la Concorde

Photo: artist unknown

15

Movie theatre, 1918

Photo: artist unknown

16

Exhibition at the Grand Palais, 1909

Photo: artist unknown

17

Kitchen gardens in the 16th arrondissement, June 28th, 1918

Photo: Auguste Léon

18

Paris decorated for Bastille day, July 13th, 1919

Photo: Auguste Léon

19

Departure of the zeppelin Zodiac III, August 28th, 1909

Photo: artist unknown

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