Packet of Lumiere autochrome plates, French, 1907-1920.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Lumiere Autochrome, devised by the Lumiere brothers in 1907, was the first commercially succesful colour photographic proces. Autochrome plates were covered with a layer of millions of minute starch particles, dyed in primary colours - red, blue or green - through which light pased to the emulsion. A single exposure lasting several seconds was required. The plates were then procesed to give a positive image.