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Dear Sirs (Colorized): 1902

Dear Sirs (Colorized): 1902

My colorized version of this beautiful Shorpy image. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Can you do some of Philly ?

This is beautiful work you've done, Sebastien! It looks very real!

I live in Philadelphia, and it would be great to see you colorize some of the pics of old Philly from the same era I've seen on Shorpy. Please consider it. My grandma (101) would love them!

Thank you all!

Thank you so much for this avalanche of nice comments about my colorisation,
This image was like a dream to work with, the result is way beyond my expectations, the double windows impose themselves for a double color treatment cold and warm, and it work so well that it give an impression of sunset lighting. I put all my knowledges and my heart in it and the way you react about it is a real achievement for me. As BdgBill guesses my background is a mix of drawing, painting and photography and I work as a photoretoucher now, but my interest is also in History and the opportunity to travel in time exploring beautiful images of the past is what I love in Shorpy.
I will continue to colorize photos from this site so thank you again and see you soon.

Absolutely Stunning

Not only does the interior look like the picture might have been taken this morning, the scene through the windows is so subtlety colored that it is perfectly realistic.
Very well done.

Love Her Hair!

This may be the best colorized image I have seen. Amazing choices for the color of everything here. The bright red hair of the woman was a bold choice but it works and is totally believable. Her skin tone perfectly matches someone with that bright red hair. It makes me wonder if there is someway to look at b&w images and decipher what the true colors were.

I have the feeling that someone with the skill to pull this off could probably conjure the image just as well onto a blank sheet of paper (or photoshop document) without starting with a photo.

Like standing in the office

This was instantly promoted to my background. One of, if not the nicest colorized photo I have ever seen or used as a computer background.

Even Homer nodded


What you see there is a metal rod and some sort of (electrical?) cord running into it. The triangular area inside it is what the view out the window looks like in the original LOC negative. When the Shorpy wizards tweaked the image contrast to reduce the glare & improve the view out the window, they overlooked this region.

[That appears to be the case. -tterrace]

Like a Caillebotte painting

The decor, color, and composition some how remind me of a Caillebotte painting. What a beautiful color realization - bravo.


Fabulous work. I like the spittoon by his chair! No electronics, just pencils, pens and paper.

What is this?

First, this is a beautiful job.

Second, what is this? I thought it was an error in the colorization, but it's obviously in the original. I have no idea what it could be, so I'm probably being stupid and just missing it.


I generally despise colorized photos but now I see that's because they're so poorly done.
You've done an outstanding job.
Congratulations. You've converted an old curmudgeon.


If you listen real close you can hear the wooden floor creak under those chairs. This is just nice.


Totally convincing and incredibly lifelike. Just awesome. Thanks for doing it.


Tastefully and intelligently done colorization. How transforming; looks "new" despite the century or so gap.

Absolutely beautiful.

This is the best colourisation I have seen, by far. Absolutely stunning. Thank you.


I have seen many a fine colorization, but this one is just magnificant...looks like a modern movie set recreating 1902...bravo

Wood wood wood

All that wood--walls, floors, furnishings--looks so luscious. So different from the sterile look of offices today. I believe my mother-in-law has the twin to the chair on the left (with the cane seat) in her home (furnished by her grandparents in the 19th century).

Beautiful rendering!

I wonder if she's taking this down in Gregg or Pitman? I learned Gregg 50 years ago in high school. Now it's pretty much a lost skill. Some years ago I was the secretary for our union local, and had to attend our convention in Chicago. I was taking notes as our president (Clinton) gave an address. A man behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked "Are you writing in Arabic?" Funny at the time.

As if we just stepped into the office from a time machine.

Just amazing. Makes me feel like I am right there in the room with those people.

One incredible job. Thanks much!

Oh, my ... sit and spin

The rotating bookcase is the dead spit of the one my local public library had in the early 1970s, which contained the library poetry collection (Dewey 811).


We're in your debt for this. Thank you.

Thomas Eakins would have approved.

So do I. Well done You!

Incredible Colorization!

I'm not a fan of colorization by any stretch of the imagination, but this is one of the best in the genre I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. My congratulations!

Nice office astounding! I've played around with colorizing and can appreciate the painstaking work on this photo.

Great Knowledge of Color & Light

A rare colorization showing a great understanding of the subtleties, the mutedness of the color spectrum in the real world. Magnificent.

Outstanding Colorization

Outstanding to say the least, you are truly an artist. Even the Spittoon looks good.

Color me appreciative

The subtle, yet beautifully chosen and perfectly appropriate colors used in this impression have brought this 114 year old scene of a typical day in the office (back then) to real life today. I especially like the glowing light tones on the wooden furniture pieces and the livening up of the peoples' skin, hair and clothing. Obviously very painstaking and beautiful work Sebastien. Thank you.

Great work!

I believe we're looking out the windows at the corner of Congress and Woodward. A modern view would be mostly of One Detroit Center and a bit of the Vinton Building. The Richmond & Backus building was replaced by the National Bank of Detroit (now Chase) building.

Art of Light and Shadow

Stunning job on the colorization. I can sense every flyaway hair on her Gibson Girl head. Makes me feel like this happened earlier today.


That has to be one of the most beautifully rendered colorizations I have ever seen. Great work.


Beautiful choice of colors, unbelievable detail. Thank you.

Unbridled Talent

Incredibly detailed colorization. A lot of work went into this and we Shorpy aficionados thank you.


This reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting with the color.

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