This autochrome is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.
“Momijigari,” (maple leaf gathering), ca. 1880s, by Taiso Yoshitoshi, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The photo shows “Broadway from the corner of Otis Street, facing toward downtown, with Memorial Park on the right,” according to the Library’s flickr page.
The lustrous foliage, waning
As wanes the morning moon,
Here falling, here refraining,
Outbraves the pride of June
With statelier semblance, feigning
No fear lest death be soon:
As though the woods thus waning
Should wax to meet the moon.
— Algernon Charles Swinburne, from “A Swimmer’s Dream“
“Gratiot Avenue and Church Street, Mount Clemens, Michigan,” between 1880 and 1899, by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The view of this intersection today is here.