Video Footage From New York City in 1911 Has Been Upscaled to 4K and 60fps, and Colorized

A YouTuber has undertaken the task of upscaling video clips taken in New York City back in 1911. Despite the footage being 109 years old, he managed to upscale the footage to 4K, while also colorizing it and increasing its frame rate to 60fps.

It’s not the first time Denis Shiryaev has managed to alter and improve visuals from history. He has now released his latest effort via his YouTube channel. He’s surprisingly coy about the methods he used to perform the upgrade, but if previous efforts are anything to go by, it’s likely he may have used Google’s DAIN and Topaz Labs’ Gigapixel AI in order to pull it off. The increase in frames-per-second also means that movement in the video is shown at a "normal" speed. “I'm so used to seeing these old-timey movies where everyone looked like they were always in a hurry from the speed of the camera playback,” said one commenter on Reddit.

In order to convert the video into color, he used the "DeOldify" Neural Network, which can colorize automatically. The result tends to differ dependent on the clip; some are definitely more saturated than others. Still, it’s impressive given that it was automated, and demonstrates the continuing accuracy of many AI technologies.

Here’s the original footage for comparison:

What did you think?

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8 Comments

Steve McDonald's picture

Small typo in the title should be "60fps" instead of "160fps"

Jack Alexander's picture

Nicely spotted! Amended, thank you.

Ryan Luna's picture

This might be one of the most fascinating things I've seen in recent memory. They're all ghosts. Absolutely none of them are alive. It's surreal. The quality of the footage brings intrigue to each and every individual in that film. Knowing it's not a contemporary Hollywood production simulating the past makes it so fascinating.

Jeff Walsh's picture

I love the resolution update, but the color sort of ruins it for me. It's amazing that it can be done at all, but for my taste coloring it just removes the historic aspect.

Also, so I'm not misunderstood, this is unbelievable. I mean just amazing that we can accomplish this.

Joel Hernandez's picture

I was also fascinated about this. Thanks for sharing.
I always thought we have seen a dramatic change over the last 100 years thanks to technology. Seeing this video makes me wonder how much has changed though.The obvious one is internet and cell phones. I'm sure everyone reading this knows how much that has impacted us for the better and worse.

The thing that stood out to me was pretty much all the guys were dressed in suits and ladies dressed very modestly in this city and time.

I found the cleaned-up, speed-corrected black and white version a lot more compelling than the colorized one. The color "took me out of the picture," as Roger Ebert used to say.

What astounds me is how many of those views and landmarks are still there more than a century later. I've just returned from a deep dive down a rabbit hole with the video on one monitor and Google Maps street views on the other!

Edward Blake's picture

Where are all the obese people?

WOW. watching this was astounding for me. For the first time I felt like I was watching something real. Like you can
see and feel what it was really like back then. I watched it twice. The original is distant, not real, a shadow. The new
is present, you can interpret so much more. My grandfather worked on those docks. It was real. The pace of the time,
the civility of the people, lost today. The technology seemed modern for the time. The steamship at the end, incredible. Its to bad there was not way to record history before film. So much of the human story lost.
Please do more.