See the World’s First Color Motion Picture from 1902


Black-and-white may have been the standard until the mid-20th century, but it turns out that color films date back all the way to 1902, less than two decades after the emergence of the first motion picture cameras. The BBC reports that these pioneering reels, recently unearthed by the UK’s National Media Museum after 110 years of neglect, were created by Edward Raymond Turner, using a color process he patented in 1899. Bursting with vibrant hues, the film shows a trio of children — the inventor’s kids — playing with sunflowers around a table, along with a mélange of other test shots. Ironically, Turner never got to view the reel because his projector didn’t work; archivists were able to bring his images to life for the first time with the help of computers. Watch a National Media Museum video about the restoration process featuring clips of the world’s first color motion pictures below.