It's amazing what a little color can do. Take these vivid color photographs from the 1930s-1940s available from the Library of Congress collection. Or these photos from turn-of-the-century Russia. It's the presence of color that make these folks look like they aren't that far removed from modern times. (Actually, he's not like anyone I've met lately.)
What's an autochrome, you may ask?
The process used a screen of tiny potato starch grains dyed orange-red, green and violet. Dusted onto a glass plate, the dyed grains were covered with a layer of sensitive panchromatic silver bromide emulsion. As light entered the camera, it was filtered by the dyed grains before it reached the emulsion. While the exposure time was very long, the plate could be processed easily by a photographer familiar with standard darkroom procedures. The result was a unique, realistic, positive color image on glass that required no further printing.
I also love these photographs because they're obviously the result of experiments with a new toy.
But my favorite is this photo of a baby in a high chair from c. 1915.