These amazing black and white images have been brought to life with a burst of colour, offering an accurate glimpse into what life was really like in Australia around the turn of the 20th century.
The stunning photographs, which document the reality of Aussie life between 1892 and 1935, were painstakingly transformed into colour images by UK-based photo colourisation artist Claudia D’Souza.
She shared a selection of the images on social media, including shots of Australian soldiers who served in the First World War and a moving snap of young children lining up to collect their free soup and bread rations during the 1932 Great Depression.
“My work is about bringing history to life. If a photo is in colour it’s immediately more relatable,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
The 44-year-old former teacher shared a selection of her images on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, under the name The Photo Alchemist, and revealed the history behind the spectacular shots, including the names and regimental details of many ANZAC veterans and war heroes.
She uses a range of reference materials to ensure her work is correct, including old magazines, fashion sheets, genealogy records and history experts.
One moving photograph shows a line of young children queuing up outside the Belmore North Public School in Sydney’s inner-west, as they wait to be handed their free soup and bread ration during the Depression.
Another photograph taken in 1935 shows two young cousins, Daphne and Lilibeth, feeding a kangaroo in Karijini National Park in Western Australia. The girls are kneeling in the grass feeding a young joey by hand.
“You can’t get much more Australian than that!” D’Souza told the Daily Mail. “This photo was taken so soon before WWII. The children seem peaceful and calm. In a few years, a war would break out… I always wonder what happened to these children.”
She also revealed that war images, most commonly headshots of soldiers before deploymeny, are more easy to transform due to extensive military records being available and said that Australians have a “particularly huge interest in military photos”.
D’Souza also shared an image on Twitter of an Australian Staff Nurse Mary Agnes (Daisy) Day, who served in World War One, dressed in her distinctive white and blue nurses uniform.
D’Souza said she does not know the exact date of the photograph, other than the fact it was taken in Melbourne, Victoria, some time between 1915 and 1919.
Ms Day was a member of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve during the First World War