During the early part of the Twentieth Century, William Friese-Greene and his son Claude were one of several teams that developed competing systems to tint film prints, giving the shots the allusion of being in color. Starting in 1924, Claude began putting together a series of shorts called The Open Road that basically operated as travelogues around the United Kingdom. A little less than a decade ago, these treasures were uncovered and remastered by the British Film Institute.
The footage was uploaded to YouTube three years ago, but over the past week or so, it’s started to make a huge impact once again, mostly as a way to see how much different, yet strangely the same London looked almost ninety years ago. Already, almost five hundred thousand people have taken the tour, and in the coming weeks, that figure should shoot even higher too.
Thanks to modern technology, we’re now able to see footage practically everywhere, from space to the Indian jungle to the Canadian highway system. The world has never been more interconnected than it is now, but that doesn’t mean glancing back almost nine decades at a city filled with a hilarious number of busses doesn’t still offer a sense of wonder.