Autochrome of Green Cottage, Starcross, Devon, c 1913.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by W H Waterfield. The house in the picture no longer exists, there is now a housing estate on the site. Autochromes were the first commercially available colour process, invented by Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis Lumiere (1865-1948), patented in 1904 and marketed in 1907. A glass plate was covered with potato starch, dyed green, red and blue, producing a random pattern of coloured dots and then coated with emulsion. This plate was then exposed in the camera with the glass side toward the lens, so that the starch acted as a colour filter on the light before it reached the emulsion.