A 1908 film restored and colored

A 1908 film restored and colored


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In the Place de Broucre, 1908 | © YOUTUBE

Place Rosier along the old Gare du Nord, Boulevard in the center, De Broucre, Stock Exchange, Rue de la Loi and Schuman Roundabout, Parc du Cincenteniere, Royal Park, Cathedral of St. Michel and Gudule, Rue de la Régence… which film us What these various sites show is not recent: it is over a century old. Filmed in 1908 and eight minutes long, it has been wonderfully restored A Dutch YouTuber. By.

Its channel “Rick88888888” specializes in colorisation, computer processing and distribution of video archives after digitization (entering the public domain). According to the channel, the exploited archives come from La Collection Prelinger, which provides free access to period content.

The original black and white video, of very poor quality, was already uploaded in 2013 cinematech youtube account, which attributes it to a British production company (to see here)

However, the restoration work done on this document is astonishing. Together with the soundtrack that we owe Swedish musician humpus naselius (one of our contemporaries) takes us to a nostalgic and dynamic universe at the same time.

boating and feather hats

It’s a time that people under the age of 20 (and even more) may not know. The camera, probably placed on a stand, swept first through the Place Rosier, in front of the old Gare du Nord that was demolished in the 1960s. To make way for Rogier Tower.

In 1908, men wore beautiful: a suit, top hat, sailor or bowler hat on their heads and a cane in their hands … For women, this was a feather cap and a long skirt. It is the Belle poque of Art Nouveau and flourishing Belgium under Leopold II.

The fashion is similar when the author of the sequence, this time set up on a tram board, drives us up Boulevard Enspach. The artery is very busy. Coaches, horse carriages, pedestrians (adults and children), electrified public transport intersections. Bicycles cross the camera field. There are no cars at this location at this time. A pedestrian, in a way before the hour.



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Boulevard Anspach and de Broucre in the background: a century ahead of a pedestrian time. © YouTube

The Place de la Bourse has changed little. The rue de la Loi, on the other hand, is no longer the same as it used to be, as we approach what became a Robert Schumann roundabout. The district has not yet been ransacked by European institutions. However, We can take apart Cinquantenaire’s arcade, in three parts and not a single arch as was the case between 1875 and 1905.



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The square that later became the Schuman Roundabout. © YouTube

Back in the city centre, the Rue Royale, the royal park … always the same view of the residents of Brussels walking and wandering the stock exchange, at the foot of the Cathedrals of St. Michel and Gudule (before the opening of the north)-Midi Junction and Demolition of the entire district), a merry-go-round in the center on the Grand’Place and an ice cream parlor that bisects the axis of the camera.

Place de Broucre allows you to have a good look at the old Hotel Continental Before Installing the Coca-Cola Advertising Panel. To pay tribute to former mayor Jules Anspach (died 1879), the political architect of the city centre’s buildings, “Brussels Haussmann”, before the steps of the Anspach fountain (quai aux Briques), as in One still knows them today. Draped with iconic, signs and commercial messages, these buildings seem straight out of an old postcard.



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Place de Broucre and its Anspach fountain. © YouTube

The film arrives eight and a half minutes later in the Fort de Soignes. The cameramen or camerawomen always board a tram along the Avenue de Tervuren before arriving in the gardens of the Museum of Central Africa, which has just been completed.



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Museum of Central Africa. © YouTube

The last part shows a panoramic view of Brussels from west to east, it is captured from the heights of the Avenue Albert in the Forest. In the distance, the Port d’Hal, the Palais de Justice, the Church of Notre-Dame de la Chapelle, the Town Hall of Saint-Gilles. Closures: an advertising painting for a furniture store on Boulevard Anspach, the beginning of rue Eugne Verhagen, Avenue Ducpetieux and the Prison of Saint-Gilles.

A wonderful document which we are indebted to this Youtubeur. “The main goal of this channel is to provide restored historical film footage, mainly from pre WWII, for the viewers to enjoy and learn.“, said this Dutchman.”Many historical films have been digitized with old scanners, resulting in wobbly, yellow and blurry images. Nowadays, a lot can be achieved in terms of image enhancement by using sophisticated software including Artificial Intelligence.

My hobby: Getting the best possible film restoration results

Motion stabilization technology was used before setting it to high definition, along with a tool to correct motion, contrast, brightness, sharpness, dust and haze removal.

“CIt’s my hobby to get the best possible film restoration results“He says in his blurb,”Using my 15 years of experience and my knowledge in combination with the latest software. Most of the movies in my channel have gone through a four step painting process which takes time to upload the result to Youtube. Many of my films are with captions.

This lover of period films has already restored the archives Showing Vienna, Berlin, London and Rotterdam, at the beginning of the last century.

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