1950s Paris in Colour

1950s Paris in Colour


A collection of slides from the Pete Grafton Collection.


A mixture of slides (transparencies) of Paris from the 1950s, bought on ebay in 2008.   The Kodak Kodachrome transparencies were taken by American tourists to Paris between 1950 and 1958.  We know this as some slides are annotated with the date, as above, and the 1958 slides can be dated as that was the year  Kodak started to emboss the cardboard mount of the slide with the date they were processed.

The other slides in this collection were “ready-made”, from the same period, bought probably by mail order in the States, rather than from racks outside tourist spots in Paris.  The ready made slides were marketed by the American company Maston – “Maston’s Travels Around the World” series. They would be marketed in the likes of the American Photography magazine. You could travel the world from the comfort of your armchair using a 35mm slide viewer.

Argus slide viewer. Photo Source Pinterest

Maston’s probably used local freelance photographers to build up their library.

Maston. “Eiffel Tower, from New York Ave”.

Tourist. Eiffel tower, scooter & coach. 1958.

Tourist. East pillar, Eiffel Tower. 1958.

Tourist. Spar, Eiffel Tower. 1950 – 1957.

Tourist. “View from Eiffel”. 1950 – 1957.

Tourist. “Paris from Tower”. 1958.

Tourist. “Paris” (Ice cream vendor). 1958.

Maston. “Place de la Concorde.”

Tourist. “Concorde Square. 1953.”   The car with the red and black body paint is a Paris taxi.  This colouring of Paris taxis was characteristic of the period, and will be seen in further slides.

Tourist.  Champs d’Elysies. 1950 – 1957.

Tourist. Champs d’Elysies. 1958.

Maston. “Champs d’Elysies street scene”.

Tourist. Arc de Triumph. Circa 1953.

Tourist. “Arc de Triumph. July 1950”.

Tourist. “Paris. 1950”

Maston. “Luxembourg Palace and Park.”

Maston. “Church of the Madeleine.”

Maston. “Pantheon.”

Tourist. “Dome de Invalides” 1950 – 1957.

Maston. “Sacre-Coeur.”

Maston. “Montmatre Street.”

Tourist. “Monmartre”. 1958.

Maston. “Notre Dame Gardens”.

Tourist. Fishing by the Seine and Notre Dame. 1958.

Tourist. The Seine and bookstalls. 1958.

Maston. “Bookstalls – River Seine, Notre Dame background”

Tourist. Book stall. 1958.

Tourist.  1950 – 1957.

Tourist. “Flower Market. 1953.”

Mastons. “Rue des Barre’s Pass.”  (Rue des Barres, Paris 4, is between Quai de l’Hotel de Ville and Rue de Rivoli)


Colour Photos of 1950s France

 at petegrafton.com


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