VSL// Beautiful Kodachrome photos from 80 years ago

In the aftermath of recent unsavory economic events, many have likened our times to the years of the Great Depression. But to see how different that time was from our own, have a look at this stunning collection of color photos from the 1930s.

Kodachrome film became commercially available for the first time in 1935. Though outrageously expensive at five dollars (about half a week’s pay at minimum wage), Kodachrome also marked the formation of a vivid color sketch of American life as seen by average Americans. Each photo in this collection portrays an intimate sense of the time—a family trip to a glowing World’s Fair, a night out in Times Square, a newly bought red coup parked in front of the Golden Gate Bridge and a wagon ride to town in a family’s Sunday’s best. The portrait that emerges is one of a country quite different from our own—depressed but surprisingly hopeful, underdeveloped but still quite young.

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VSL// Beautiful Kodachrome photos from 80 years ago