Mads Madsen is 25 years old and lives in Denmark where he's pursuing a Master's degree in the Classics (ancient Greece and Rome). However, his fascination with history doesn't end there.

Mads also colorizes old photos. Through the use of Photoshop, he meticulously injects life into black and white stills, allowing us to immerse ourselves into moments that have been fading away. There's just something raw about looking at a person and seeing the color of their eyes. You don't get that with a monochromic image.

More info: Facebook

#1

Desmond Doss, Conscientious Objector And Medal Of Honor Recipient. He Was Given The Medal Of Honor For His Actions At Hawksaw Ridge, During The Battle Of Okinawa, Where He Carried 75 Wounded Men To Safety Under Heavy Enemy Fire

Desmond Doss, Conscientious Objector And Medal Of Honor Recipient. He Was Given The Medal Of Honor For His Actions At Hawksaw Ridge, During The Battle Of Okinawa, Where He Carried 75 Wounded Men To Safety Under Heavy Enemy Fire

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And it's all because of the Internet. "I was browsing Reddit one day and came across some old colorized photographs," Madsen told Bored Panda. "They were colorized by hand. This discovery led me to a more in-depth search, and I learned that it was actually done by an old lady. She had a website dedicated to hand-coloring photographs of all periods with oil. It just absolutely blew me away.

Mads had spent the next couple of days cataloging everything she had done into periods, personalities, eras, etc, and when he was done, he decided 'Hey, I can do this myself!'

#2

Helen Keller Greeting Charlie Chaplin By Feeling His Features

Helen Keller Greeting Charlie Chaplin By Feeling His Features

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Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He looks very "touched" by her gesture! Helen Keller was such a remarkable woman.

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The colorist has a very concrete way of choosing images for his projects. "I mostly pick [a photograph] after I decide whether or not the subject's eyes will look good," he said. "I've always had a fascination with beautiful eyes, and that's how I pick most of my photographs. If you look through my gallery, you'll see that most of the eyes there are steely-blue or sky-blue, and they (hopefully) are framed beautifully by the surrounding color, contrasting with it really nicely. So that's the main criteria. That, and the overall quality [of the image]."

#3

Two American Soldiers Proudly Show Off Their Personalized "Easter Eggs" (155mm Artillery Shells) Before Firing Them

Two American Soldiers Proudly Show Off Their Personalized "Easter Eggs" (155mm Artillery Shells) Before Firing Them

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But colorizing a photo is a long and hard work. Madsen said the most difficult part is those that overlap with other objects, like tree branches that stretch into the sky. "If I don't want the sky to look brown or the branches to look blue, I have to [work them by hand, individually.]"

If photo colorization is something you'd like to try out yourself, Mads has a cool video tutorial on YouTube that's perfect for getting started.

#4

Frederick Douglass, Talented Orator And Frontspokesman Of Abolition. Escaped Slavery, And Led A Freedom-Movement

Frederick Douglass, Talented Orator And Frontspokesman Of Abolition. Escaped Slavery, And Led A Freedom-Movement

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Ojberretta Berretta
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

and some assholes tore down hes statue and the statue of a abolitionist militia fighter recently.....ppl literally did not learn from history...and while some statues should be torn down...hes is not one of those...

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#5

Sir David Attenborough, Born This Day In 1926, Seen Here Petting A Macaw Around 1950-51

Sir David Attenborough, Born This Day In 1926, Seen Here Petting A Macaw Around 1950-51

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glowworm2
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aw! Look how happy that macaw is! Also, Sir David looks so handsome.

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#6

Native American Chief With Feathers, Unknown Date

Native American Chief With Feathers, Unknown Date

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MrTree1779
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Asking an expert in historical Native dress: How authentic is the clothing and headdress? Not questioning the man, but back then, Native Americans would be dressed up in generic costumes, and be photographed as "authentic", for the white folks.

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#7

Amelia Earhart, Unknown Date

Amelia Earhart, Unknown Date

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#8

Nikola Tesla, With Roger Boskovich's Book 'Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis', In Front Of The Spiral Coil Of His High-Frequency Transformer At East Houston St., New York

Nikola Tesla, With Roger Boskovich's Book 'Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis', In Front Of The Spiral Coil Of His High-Frequency Transformer At East Houston St., New York

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#9

Two Girls And Their Snow Fort, Ca. 1910

Two Girls And Their Snow Fort, Ca. 1910

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#10

Ca. 1960 - A Civil Rights Demonstration. A Black Woman Is Glaring At A Man, Who Appears To Be A Segragationist, Donning The Confederate Flag On His Hardhat

Ca. 1960 - A Civil Rights Demonstration. A Black Woman Is Glaring At A Man, Who Appears To Be A Segragationist, Donning The Confederate Flag On His Hardhat

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#11

Sgt. Henry 'Black Death' Johnson Of The 369th

Sgt. Henry 'Black Death' Johnson Of The 369th

'Harlem Hellfighters' poses wearing the Croix du Guerre, awarded for bravery in an outnumbered battle against German forces. He also received the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2015 - 12th of February 1919

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Beth August
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's sad that his Medal of Honor was given posthumously.

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#12

Albert Einstein, Photographed Ca. 1948 By Yousuf Karsh

Albert Einstein, Photographed Ca. 1948 By Yousuf Karsh

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#13

Alan Turing - A Computer Scientist, Philosopher, And Cryptologist Who Played A Crucial Role In Breaking The Nazis' Enigma Code - Seen Here In Happier Times. Unknown Date.

Alan Turing - A Computer Scientist, Philosopher, And Cryptologist Who Played A Crucial Role In Breaking The Nazis' Enigma Code - Seen Here In Happier Times. Unknown Date.

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Puna
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Mr. Turing was an brilliant, amazing man who helped the world only to be abused and destroyed by it.

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#14

Christmas Truce Of 1914 During The First World War

Christmas Truce Of 1914 During The First World War

German and British soldiers laid down their arms, and climbed out in to no man's land for an unofficial ceasefire during Christmas. Supposedly over 100,000 soldiers participated, gifts were exchanged, British soldiers cut the hair of German soldiers, officers swapped buttons and coats, privates exchanged candy - and the next day, the fighting resumed, and the carnage continued.

it's worth noting that not all parts of the front celebrated this truce, some parts of the frontline only had small agreements of a minor ceasefire to recover bodies, while others sang songs from within their trenches.

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El Dee
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Notably this was initiated by the men and not the officers. When news got back to London they ordered that no such ceasefire should happen again. They were worried that soldiers would 'humanise' their enemy and be less keen to engage and kill..

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#15

Audrey Hepburn. Unknown Date

Audrey Hepburn. Unknown Date

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#16

Paul Newman & Clint Eastwood

Paul Newman & Clint Eastwood

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#17

Jim Henson, Creator Of The Muppets, Sitting With Ernie & Kermit The Frog

Jim Henson, Creator Of The Muppets, Sitting With Ernie & Kermit The Frog

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#18

Einstein Laughing During A Dinner Party, Year Unknown

Einstein Laughing During A Dinner Party, Year Unknown

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#19

Marilyn Monroe After A Party. A Rare, Solemn Moment Of Quiet For The Otherwise Boisterous Personality

Marilyn Monroe After A Party. A Rare, Solemn Moment Of Quiet For The Otherwise Boisterous Personality

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Sinkvenice
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Boisterous? That was a facade, she was a total introvert and suffered incredible anguish.

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#20

Brigadier General And Actor Jimmy Stewart. Participated In Over 20 Missions Over Nazi-Occupied Europe, And Even Flew A Bombing Run During The Vietnam War.

Brigadier General And Actor Jimmy Stewart. Participated In Over 20 Missions Over Nazi-Occupied Europe, And Even Flew A Bombing Run During The Vietnam War.

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#21

Victor Hugo, Famous Author Of Les Miserables, And The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame - Ca. 1876

Victor Hugo, Famous Author Of Les Miserables, And The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame - Ca. 1876

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Paolina Mitova
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He is supposed to have said: it's a great deal to be always the same person. I often think about it and not once I have agreed whit this opinion. One should evolve and grow and definitely not stay the same person.

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#22

Richard Pierce - 14 Years Of Age, Works As A Western Union Telegraph Messenger. With Nine Months Of Service. He Works From 7 A.m. To 6 P.m. Smokes. Visits Houses Of Prostitution. Wilmington, Delaware, Ca. May 1910

Richard Pierce - 14 Years Of Age, Works As A Western Union Telegraph Messenger. With Nine Months Of Service. He Works From 7 A.m. To 6 P.m. Smokes. Visits Houses Of Prostitution. Wilmington, Delaware, Ca. May 1910

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Scagsy
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He may appear to be a little boy, but his eyes betray the age of his soul

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#23

Buzz Aldrin, The Second Man On The Moon, Seen Here As Commandant Of The Air Force Test Pilot School, Ca. 1963

Buzz Aldrin, The Second Man On The Moon, Seen Here As Commandant Of The Air Force Test Pilot School, Ca. 1963

Note the Mickey Mouse watch he is wearing as well.

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#24

Theodore Roosevelt Holding His Grandson, Kermit Roosevelt Jr. - Ca. 1916

Theodore Roosevelt Holding His Grandson, Kermit Roosevelt Jr. - Ca. 1916

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Mia
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The name "Kermit," selected by Edith's parents as her brother's first name and as her middle name, was the surname of a paternal great-uncle, Robert Kermit. Edith was Theodore Roosevelt's 2nd wife.

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#25

Eric Arthur Blair, Better Known By His Pen Name George Orwell, Was An English Novelist, Essayist, Journalist, And Critic

Eric Arthur Blair, Better Known By His Pen Name George Orwell, Was An English Novelist, Essayist, Journalist, And Critic

His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian – descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices – has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including Big Brother, Thought Police, Room 101, memory hole, newspeak, doublethink, proles, unperson, and thoughtcrime.

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#26

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

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#27

Charlie Chaplin Without His Trademark Moustache In His Later Years, Working On A Movie Set

Charlie Chaplin Without His Trademark Moustache In His Later Years, Working On A Movie Set

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MrTree1779
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Charles Chaplin. Founder of United Artists, Father of Geraldine Chaplin, creator of "The Little Tramp", and Rights Activist.

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#28

Abraham Lincoln And George Mcclellan At Antietam, October 2nd/3rd, 1862

Abraham Lincoln And George Mcclellan At Antietam, October 2nd/3rd, 1862

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#29

James Dean, Actor And Rebel Without A Cause, December 29th, 1954

James Dean, Actor And Rebel Without A Cause, December 29th, 1954

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80 Van
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Are we sure that’s not just a photo of James Franco?

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#30

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

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#31

A Boy Shows Off His Ray Gun, Around The 1950s

A Boy Shows Off His Ray Gun, Around The 1950s

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#32

Neil Armstrong, The First Man To Walk On The Moon, Training For The Apollo Mission

Neil Armstrong, The First Man To Walk On The Moon, Training For The Apollo Mission

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Paul K. Johnson
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

True story - he hit me directly on the ass with a golf ball during the Mad Anthony tournament (a celebrity tournament in Ft. Wayne, Indiana). I was a caddie at the club at that time and standing too close to a par 3 green. I also got his autograph which is long lost.

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#33

Unidentified Soldier Of The First Australian Imperial Force

Unidentified Soldier Of The First Australian Imperial Force

About the first AIF:

The First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) was the main expeditionary force of the Australian Army during World War I. It was formed on 15 August 1914, following Britain's declaration of war on Germany, initially with a strength of one infantry division and one light horse brigade. The infantry division subsequently fought at Gallipoli between April and December 1915, being reinforced by a second division which was later raised, as well as three light horse brigades. After being evacuated to Egypt the AIF was expanded to five infantry divisions, which were committed to the fighting in France and Belgium along the Western Front in March 1916. A sixth infantry division was partially raised in 1917 in the United Kingdom, but was broken up and used as reinforcements following heavy casualties on the Western Front. Meanwhile, two mounted divisions remained in the Middle East to fight against Turkish forces in the Sinai and Palestine.

An all volunteer force, by the end of the war the AIF had gained a reputation as being a well-trained and highly effective military force, playing a significant role in the final Allied victory. However, this reputation came at a heavy cost with a casualty rate among the highest of any belligerent for the war. The AIF included the Australian Flying Corps (AFC), which consisted of four combat and four training squadrons that were deployed to the United Kingdom, the Western Front and the Middle East throughout the war. After the war, the AFC evolved into the Royal Australian Air Force; the remainder of the 1st AIF was disbanded between 1919 and 1921. After the war the achievements of the AIF and its soldiers, known colloquially as "Diggers", became central to the national mythology of the "Anzac legend". Gene

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#34

Frederick Charles Stacey Of The Royal Navy On Admission For Treatment For Wounds Sustained In Wwi, And Seen After The Successful Plastic Surgery.

Frederick Charles Stacey Of The Royal Navy On Admission For Treatment For Wounds Sustained In Wwi, And Seen After The Successful Plastic Surgery.

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Fabrice
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amazing plastic Surgery for the time. There is a french movie about this subject "la chambre des officiers"

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#35

Joseph Goebbels Scowling At Photographer Albert Eisenstaedt After Finding Out Eisenstaedt Was Jewish.

Joseph Goebbels Scowling At Photographer Albert Eisenstaedt After Finding Out Eisenstaedt Was Jewish.

Eisenstaedt himself is quoted as saying 'He stared at me with hate in his eyes', despite the events following up to this. Eisenstaedt had photographed Goebbels sitting on his own outside in the courtyard, had approached him and taken a photograph of him with a warm smile, and then moments later was confronted with this, when Goebbels had learned of Eisenstaedts 'true identity'. Sad.

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#36

Martin Luther King Meeting With President John F. Kennedy And Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson During The Civil Rights Movement

Martin Luther King Meeting With President John F. Kennedy And Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson During The Civil Rights Movement

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Doug Alexander
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

John Lewis, in the center peering from behind the line.

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#37

Father Christmas Wearing A Tin Helmet Walks Along Regent Street, London, With A Bag Full Of Presents - From Life Magazine, December 23, 1940

Father Christmas Wearing A Tin Helmet Walks Along Regent Street, London, With A Bag Full Of Presents - From Life Magazine, December 23, 1940

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#38

Audie Murphy, One Of The Most Decorated Combat Soldiers Of The Second World War

Audie Murphy, One Of The Most Decorated Combat Soldiers Of The Second World War

He received every military combat award for valor available from the Army, as well as Belgian and French awards for heroism. He also received the Medal of Honor at 19 for single-handedly holding off an entire company of German soldiers for an hour at the Colmar Pocket in January of '45, in France.
A small side note is the bottom left crest, which is the insignia of the 159th French Alpine Infantry Regiment. He was awarded this device by the Mayor of Ramatuelle, France, on the 13th of July, 1948 - he was awarded this when he was in France to be decorated by Lattre de Tassigny with the French Legion of Honor (Chevalier), and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm, which took place on July 19th, 1948. Another note is the Texas National Guard's 36th Infantry Division patch he is wearing on his left arm.

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Sinkvenice
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He became a successful actor after the war and is in a film called To Hell and Back where he played himself!

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#39

On The Left Is A Bavarian Grandfather, A Veteran Of The Franco-Prussian War Wearing The 1868 Bavaria Uniform, And On The Right Side Is The Grandson, A Prussian Officer Wearing A 1913 Prussia Uniform

On The Left Is A Bavarian Grandfather, A Veteran Of The Franco-Prussian War Wearing The 1868 Bavaria Uniform, And On The Right Side Is The Grandson, A Prussian Officer Wearing A 1913 Prussia Uniform

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#40

Testing A Bulletproof Vest, Around 1920

Testing A Bulletproof Vest, Around 1920

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Vicky Zar
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't think they were that stupid back then, were they? Surely they testet it beforehand on a tree or something...

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Note: this post originally had 182 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.