Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Discovery of Technicolor

By Natalie Brady, Jr. Assistant Editor


The discovery of Technicolor changed cinema from the classic black and white to the modernized colorful scenes we see on screen today. However, how did this ingenious invention happen to come about? How did the world of television make such a drastic transformation?

First off, what is Technicolor? Technicolor is a brand name for a system of making color motion pictures by means of superimposing the three primary colors to produce a final colored print. Before movies, TV shows, video games, and TV in color, everything was in black and white – yes, everything.

Technicolor was invented in 1915 by Dr. Herbert Kalmus and his team of technicians. While there were color moving pictures before Technicolor was invented, they weren’t quite as accurate. The pictures were blotchier and slower, and nothing like real life at all. After Technicolor, the pictures were more defined in color and life-like.

How did this simple invention of Technicolor impact the world? Technicolor was the first to perfect color TV, and from then on the color TV improvement simply grew and grew. Imagine a world without color TV – as you sit in the movie theatre with your snacks, anxiously awaiting your movie as the lights dim, and the commercials start: but they’re all in black and white. The movie starts, and there’s one factor that keeps the entire thing from feeling completely life-like – color. Technicolor was the first to bring defined color to the TV world, thus changing the cinema forever.