Originally Posted by meierlde
It should be noted that 50 to 60 year old color photos may well have faded to red or blue depending on the film used. The dyes do tend to fade. I have been digitizing some of my grandfathers slides, and some purchased ones using kodak color film have faded to where they are essentially black and white (from 1962).
A friend of mine bough a film scanner, (Nikon, I think), and he was super impressed with the software that came with it. He said you would enter the film type (and maybe the ~ year of manufacture/developing?), and it would scan the edges (not exposed to light before processioning) and would use that info to apply some magic aging and color correction algorithms.
But of course, if it's gone it's gone, and color is far less stable than B&W.
As a little side-track, I've always been amazed at just how good the early photographs are, and how long lasting they are. Usually, a new technology is really bad, and only improves after much further development (no pun intended). But those early photos are crisp and clear. Sure, the chemicals were very slow, so you needed lots of light and long exposures, but the results were really very, very good.
Compare that to the first audio recordings, scratchy, wow and flutter, terrible frequency response, low volume, you had to shout into them, and you could still barely make out the words. Took a long time before music sounded good enough to record.