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Rare 19th Century colour photos from a unified Korea show children playing and people feasting

Incredible nineteenth century photos give a rare insight into to what life was like in Korea more than 100 years ago.

The fascinating colour images, taken in 1895, show Korean locals clearly fascinated by the newfangled camera.

In one shot,  Korean residents enjoy a feast of wine and biscuits, in another a local dignitary is carried through a provincial village, and  in a third three colourfully bedecked gentleman on board a ship destined for strange new lands. 

Incredible nineteenth century photos give a rare insight into to what life was like in Korea more than 100 years ago. This picture shows a group of local children clearly fascinated by the newfangled came

A local dignitary and their escort passing through provincial village in covered sedan chair. The fascinating colour images, taken in 1895, show life in Korea during a brief period of union between the North and South

A local dignitary and their escort passing through provincial village in covered sedan chair. The fascinating colour images, taken in 1895, show life in Korea during a brief period of union between the North and South

Three fantastically dressed gentleman on the deck of a departing ship.  The striking photos were snapped by pioneering American photographer, William Henry Jackson as part of an extensive world tour

Three fantastically dressed gentleman on the deck of a departing ship.  The striking photos were snapped by pioneering American photographer, William Henry Jackson as part of an extensive world tour

The striking photos were snapped by pioneering American photographer, William Henry Jackson as part of an extensive world tour. 

He travelled through Asia, Africa and Oceania taking photos for the World’s Transportation Commission.

The tour, set up by railroad magnate Joseph Gladding Pangborn, was initially organised to explore and examine different railroads systems throughout the world, but Jackson took the opportunity to capture the local people, architecture and landscape between 1894 and 1896.

His photos were featured in publications and allowed ordinary people to experience life in countries they had only ever heard about before.

In this shot, Korean residents enjoyed a feast of wine and biscuits, while taking shelter and preparing a meal at the roadside

In this shot, Korean residents enjoyed a feast of wine and biscuits, while taking shelter and preparing a meal at the roadside

A bustling street scene with curious bystanders in Seoul, now the capital of South Korea. The photos taken by William Henry Jackson as he travelled through Asia, Africa and Oceania taking photos for the World's Transportation Commission

A bustling street scene with curious bystanders in Seoul, now the capital of South Korea. The photos taken by William Henry Jackson as he travelled through Asia, Africa and Oceania taking photos for the World’s Transportation Commission

Korean sand pack-saddled ox in the hill district between Seoul and Wonsan with a farmer. The photos were taken on tour, set up by railroad magnate Joseph Gladding Pangborn

Korean sand pack-saddled ox in the hill district between Seoul and Wonsan with a farmer. The photos were taken on tour, set up by railroad magnate Joseph Gladding Pangborn

An elegant woman onboard a Korean ship in 1895. The tour was initially organised to explore and examine different railroads systems throughout the world, but photographer Jackson took the opportunity to capture the local people, architecture and landscape between 1894 and 1896

An elegant woman onboard a Korean ship in 1895. The tour was initially organised to explore and examine different railroads systems throughout the world, but photographer Jackson took the opportunity to capture the local people, architecture and landscape between 1894 and 1896

In Wonsan, a group of visiting collectors draw a crowd. His photos were featured in publications and allowed ordinary people to experience life in countries they had only ever heard about before

In Wonsan, a group of visiting collectors draw a crowd. His photos were featured in publications and allowed ordinary people to experience life in countries they had only ever heard about before

As colour photography was in its infancy all of Jackson’s pictures were taken on black and white lantern slides. 

To make the lantern slides look more realistic, certain slides such as these were coloured by hand with dyes and paints.

At the time Jackson snapped his captivating pictures, Korea was slowly emerging from the shadow of the Russian empire after a turbulent history. 

After many years of being ruled by generations of dynastic kingdoms, a unified Korea enjoyed a brief spell of independence at the end of the 19th century before it was occupied by Japan after the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and the country was formally annexed five years later. 

A family sits on the porch of a rustic house. As colour photography was in its infancy all of Jackson's pictures were taken on black and white lantern slides. To make the lantern slides look more realistic, certain slides such as these were coloured by hand with dyes and paints

A family sits on the porch of a rustic house. As colour photography was in its infancy all of Jackson’s pictures were taken on black and white lantern slides. To make the lantern slides look more realistic, certain slides such as these were coloured by hand with dyes and paints

A potter taking his wares to market sits for his photo portrait by Jackson. At the time Jackson snapped his captivating pictures, Korea was slowly emerging from the shadow of the Russian empire after a turbulent history

A potter taking his wares to market sits for his photo portrait by Jackson. At the time Jackson snapped his captivating pictures, Korea was slowly emerging from the shadow of the Russian empire after a turbulent history

Main audience hall in Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul in 1895. After many years of being ruled by generations of dynastic kingdoms, a unified Korea enjoyed a brief spell of independence at the end of the 19th century before it was occupied by Japan after the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and the country was formally annexed five years later

Main audience hall in Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul in 1895. After many years of being ruled by generations of dynastic kingdoms, a unified Korea enjoyed a brief spell of independence at the end of the 19th century before it was occupied by Japan after the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and the country was formally annexed five years later

Korea laboured under Japanese colonial rule for years-until the end of the Second World War, when its division into two nations began.

Following the end of the war, the country was split between North Korea and the South Korea.

The peninsula became a Cold War battleground and descended into actual war between the neighbouring countries from 1950 to 1953, which killed more than 2.5 million people.

This little girl seems fascinated by Jackson's camera. Her friends, less so. Korea laboured under Japanese colonial rule for years-until the end of the Second World War, when its division into two nations began

This little girl seems fascinated by Jackson’s camera. Her friends, less so. Korea laboured under Japanese colonial rule for years-until the end of the Second World War, when its division into two nations began

A labourer hauls a heavy load off a docked ship. Following the end of the war, the country was split between North Korea and the South Korea. The peninsula became a Cold War battleground and descended into actual war between the neighbouring countries from 1950 to 1953, which killed more than 2.5 million people.

A labourer hauls a heavy load off a docked ship. Following the end of the war, the country was split between North Korea and the South Korea. The peninsula became a Cold War battleground and descended into actual war between the neighbouring countries from 1950 to 1953, which killed more than 2.5 million people.

A covered sedan chair en route from Seoul to Chemulpo 125 years ago. Sixty-six years later, the situation remains difficult. However, history was made last year when North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in person

A covered sedan chair en route from Seoul to Chemulpo 125 years ago. Sixty-six years later, the situation remains difficult. However, history was made last year when North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in person

Sixty-six years later, the situation remains difficult. 

However, history was made last year when North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in person. 

Mr Kim became the first North Korean leader to cross into South Korean territory since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

 

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