Library of Congress Photochrom lithography of Naples (1880-1900)

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Photochrom lithography is a process for producing colorized images from black-and-white photographic negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates. The process was invented in the 1880s by Hans Jakob Schmid (1856–1924), an employee of the Swiss company Orell Gessner Füssli.  From the mid-1890s the process was licensed by other companies. The photochrom process was most popular in the 1890s, when true color photography was first developed but was still commercially impractical. The process became extremely popular in the production of color postcards for the tourist industry.