Thomas Sutton created the first color photograph in 1861. For this famous photo of a tartan ribbon, Sutton used a three-color method invented by physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who realized that the perception of all colors in an image could be created with a several-step process of taking multiple images through three colored glass plates: red, green, and blue. Louis Ducos du Hauron used a similar technique to create a famous colored landscape photo of southern France in 1877, named View of Agen.
Autochrome Lumière, created by Auguste and Louis Lumière at the start of the 1900s, was another long-exposure color photography technique that used “autochrome plates” coated with tiny dots of multicolored starch, instead of just one color. Still, plate methods were complicated, drawn-out processes that yielded less than ideal results. Until, in 1908, Gabriel Jonas Lippmann won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his method of creating color in a photo in just one single process using a color-sensitive film coating, or emulsion, on top of a glass plate.