Someone has restored and coloured a video of Manchester in 1901!

Get a unique glimpse into what life was like 119 years ago.

By Manchester's Finest | 8 September 2020

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When you watch old films or see old film footage it’s easy to be removed from what it is showing because it’s in black and white and it’s usually really jerky.

Recently though, advancements in AI technology have allowed a group of brain boxes to restore and colourise old film footage and the results are striking.

Anyone who has seen the recent ‘They Shall Not Grow Old‘, directed by Peter Jackson and featuring full colour, 4k footage of life in the trenches during World War One will know what I mean.

Anyway, some bright sparks on YouTube have created an upscaled, colourised, 60fps version of a video filmed at the intersection of Cross St and Corporation Street all the way back in 1901. It’s truly remarkable and gives you a unique insight into just what life might have been like in Manchester 119 years ago.

If there’s one thing to be said about the footage – Manchester looks BUSY. Like, really bloody busy. Oh, and everyone wears a hat. What’s that all about?

I’ve done extensive Google searching to discover how they do this, and it involves a lot of algorithms and some pretty advanced programming, of which around 97% of it went well and truly over my head. It’s also not too helpful that I’m colour blind. Let’s leave it to the professionals instead.

They’ve also done a couple of other videos, one of New York, one of the Titanic and one of Venice. Check them out too…

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