The Great War in Stereoviews

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Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG) Colorized Stereoviews

An NPG retailer, M. Rohmer, Pariserstraße 15, Leipzig-Gohlis, produced excellent quality colorized stereoviews. In the World War I era, color photography was in its infancy and was not commercially viable. Several manufacturers of photographic and lithographic stereoviews attempted to enhance the viewing experience by applying watercolors to the black-and-white images. Since applying color by hand was a labor-intensive process, the colorizing typically consisted of spots of color applied to strategic parts of the image. Considerable imagination was required to envision the scene in living color. Not so with Rohmer. More often than not, the colors were applied so skillfully as to trick the viewer into thinking even the portions remaining in black-and-white had some color.

73—Krieg 1914-15. Zuschaufeln eines Massengrabes und Beerdigung russischer Leichen.

War 1914-15. Filling in a mass grave and interring Russian dead.

Despite the sparse foliage of the tree, there is little green paint in the blue sky..

144—Krieg 1914-15. Mit Holz ausgebaute Schießscharten in einem besonders sorgfältig angelegten Schützengraben.

War 1914-15. An especially carefully constructed wooden loophole added to a trench.

Note the careful painting of the brown belt and the green grass.

145—Krieg 1914-15. Im Schützengraben eingebautes Maschinengewehr.

War 1914-15. Machine gun emplaced in a trench.

The well-done flesh tones and leather belts contribute to the colorful impression.

156—Krieg 1914-15. Abfeuern eines österreichischen 30,5 cm Geschützes, gennant "Grete".

War 1914-15. An Austrian 30.5 cm gun, named "Grete," about to fire.

The sky, grass, and wooden building at left center make the entire scene seem to be in color.

The stereoviews were glued to cardboard and Rohmer put his mark on the backs. The mark was most commonly printed, sometimes stamped in purple ink.

Rohmer stereoviews were probably sold in groups of about 30. The total number of NPG views colorized by Rohmer is unknown; about 45 different ones have been seen.

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