At the beginning of the 20th century, wealthy French banker Albert Kahn embarked on a project, "Archives of the Planet," through which he sent photographers around the world to document, in an early color photography process called autochrome, the cultures and settlements of peoples from six continents. (You can see some examples here.)
Over the last few weeks, Audrey Cerdan and Pascal Riche, a photographer and a writer for the French outlet Rue89, have been going through Kahn's archives of Paris, mapping out and meticulously recreating the positions and angles of the original autochromes, and documenting whatever changes they could observe. The results, which are featured on Rue89 complete with back-and-forth slider, are pretty amazing.
Above, Porte Saint-Denis in the 10th arrondissement. "Bar Moricard, right... became The Sully," Riche writes. "At the time, the coffee was twice as cheap as chocolate: 10 centimes to 20 centimes. A century later, it is one euro, versus 1.5 euro for chocolate."
Left, the pharmacy, which is still there. It belongs to Benhamou, who purchased it from Perrault. A pharmacist looking at the picture of early 1900 was moved: "It's beautiful, it's beautiful." We were surprised by the number of signs on the upper floors of buildings: "Dentist," "Furnished rooms"... Today, looking up, there are traces of the missing signs: metal rods, sawed, painted, almost invisible.
Here, Rue d'Aboukir in the 2nd arrondissement—
—and Passage du Caire, also in the 2nd.