In September 2011 the Wiki Loves Monuments contest took place. Thousands of pictures of European monuments were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. To stimulate the use of videos on Wikimedia Commons, Open Images also made a prize available for the best video of a monument.
We are proud to announce that the winner of this prize is this French video about an old wallpaper printing machine (built in 1877). The video shows “the 26 colors machine”, famous for being the first one to use 26 colors for printing wallpapers. Such a machine was a moving piece, with gears, paint, paper and men around it: a video is the only way to make it live again. The video – one of a whole set videos – also unfolds various viewpoints, from the tiny details of a golden cylinder to a view of the surrounding building.
The 26 colors machine, by Loeilamemoires (user on Wikimedia Commons), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share alike.
It provides something that cannot be shown in a static picture: a sense of both beautiful details and the surrounding building, which is typical of industrial age. Video is incredibly useful for the encyclopaedic purposes of Wikipedia. Whether it is to visualise a chemical reaction, watch lifeforms evolve in their environment, or see how a machine actually works. If an image tells a thousand words, then imagine what you can tell in 24 images a second.