Photochrom prints, also called Aäc, were invented in 1880 by Hans Jakob Schmid (1856-1924). Although they looked deceptively like color photographs, small dots that comprised the ink-based photomechanical image were visible upon magnification.
Photochrom prints were sold at tourist sites and through mail-order catalogs to globetrotters, armchair travelers, educators, and others to preserve in albums or put on display. The Detroit Photographic Company reportedly produced seven million photochrom prints in some years.
The Library’s Photochrom Print Collection includes some 6,500 images of Europe, the Middle East and North America from the Photoglob Company in Zürich and the Detroit Publishing Company.