Rare Color Photos Show the Forty Acres 100 Years Ago

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Believed to be the earliest color images taken on campus, these photos are the handiwork of UT physics professor and photography enthusiast John Matthias Kuehne (1872–1960).

Kuehne, a UT alumnus himself who earned a BA in 1899 and an MA in 1901, was beloved by his students and known as quite the Renaissance man for his academic work on the relationship between magnetism and electricity, his photography work, and his musical and theatrical talents. He helped found the McDonald Observatory and taught the first photography class at UT in 1908.

An early adopter of autochrome technology, Kuehne created these color images of campus scenes throughout the 1910s and 1920s. His photo collection, which includes more than 200 color autochromes documenting campus life and his world travels, resides at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

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Early autochrome of Old Main Building, looking north.

Circa 1910–1920.

 

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Early autochrome of women near flower bed on UT campus.

Circa 1910–1913.

 

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Early autochrome of exterior view of Battle Hall. Note that the image is reversed.

Circa 1910–1920.

 

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Film transparency of bathing girl at physics picnic near Cypress Creek.

Circa 1925–1940.

 

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Early autochrome of decorated car for UT parade, probably the Varsity Circus Parade.

Circa 1910–1920.

 

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Early autochrome of decorated car for UT parade, probably the Varsity Circus Parade.

Circa 1910–1920.

 

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Early autochrome of decorated car for UT parade, probably the Varsity Circus Parade.

Circa. 1910–1920.

Kuehne (John Matthias) Photograph Collection, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

 

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