I’ve talked about Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper before. In it Baker chronicles the destructive effects of the move from paper to microfilm, in which we lost more information than we will probably ever know. (He should probably write an update about the move to digitization; this had hardly gotten underway when Double Fold was published in 2001.)
Anyway, here is a relatively minor example of what he was talking about. Behold the St. Louis Globe-Democrat’s Sunday “Color Sport Supplement,” September 12, 1915, featuring youngster George Sisler depicted in all of nature’s sumptuous hues…or not:
No idea whether it looked that great or not in its original color. But it would be nice to know!