Life Before World War II: Fascinating Color Photographs Capture Everyday Life in Budapest, Hungary in 1939

Though the history of color photography dates back more than a hundred years, the production and publication of color enlargements (photopositives) has only been widespread since the 1940s, when color film first entered mass use. These fascinating color photographs were taken by an unknown photographer using Agfacolor, they show everyday life in Budapest in 1939, just before the Second World War.

Agfacolor was the name of a series of color film products made by Agfa of Germany. The first Agfacolor, introduced in 1932, was a film-based version of their Agfa-Farbenplatte (Agfa color plate), a “screen plate” product similar to the French Autochrome. In late 1936 Agfa introduced Agfacolor Neu (New Agfacolor), a pioneering color film of the general type still in use today.

The new Agfacolor was originally a reversal film used for making “slides”, home movies and short documentaries. By 1939 it had also been adapted into a negative film and a print film for use by the German motion picture industry. After World War II, the Agfacolor brand was applied to several varieties of color negative film for still photography, in which the negatives were used to make color prints on paper. The reversal film was then marketed as Agfachrome. These films use Color Developing Agent 1 in their color developer.

Budapest is the capital and most populous city of Hungary. It is the ninth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits and the second-largest city on Danube river; the city has an estimated population of 1,752,286 over a land area of about 525 square kilometres (203 square miles). Budapest, which is both a city and county, forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres (2,944 square miles) and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33% of the population of Hungary.

The history of Budapest began when an early Celtic settlement transformed into the Roman town of Aquincum, the capital of Lower Pannonia. The Hungarians arrived in the territory in the late 9th century, but the area was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–42. Re-established Buda became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century. The Battle of Mohács, in 1526, was followed by nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule. After the reconquest of Buda in 1686, the region entered a new age of prosperity, with Pest-Buda becoming a global city after the unification of Buda, Óbuda and Pest on 17 November 1873, with the name ‘Budapest’ given to the new capital. Budapest also became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I. The city was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Battle of Budapest in 1945, as well as the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Budapest is a Beta + global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education and entertainment. Hungary’s financial centre, it is the second richest capital and city in the region after Bucharest. Budapest is the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Police College and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency. Over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, the Corvinus University, Semmelweis University, University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Opened in 1896, the city’s subway system, the Budapest Metro, serves 1.27 million, while the Budapest Tram Network serves 1.08 million passengers daily.

The central area of Budapest along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has several notable monuments of classical architecture, including the Hungarian Parliament and the Buda Castle. The city also has around 80 geothermal springs, the largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building in the world. Budapest attracts around 12 million international tourists per year, making it a highly popular destination in Europe. It also topped the Best European Destinations 2020 list by Big7Media. Budapest also ranks as the third-best European city in a similar poll conducted by Which?. (Wikipedia)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: