In 1915, Herbert Kalmus, an engineer from MIT, set out to bring lifelike color to the big screen. Adapting the name of his college yearbook, "Technique," Kalmus formed the Technicolor Motion Picture Corp. and created the first Technicolor film, "The Gulf Between," in 1917, starring Grace Darmond.
It wasn't until Kalmus teamed up with then-independent filmmaker Walt Disney in the 1930s that the painstaking dye transfer process began to gain momentum.
The first full-length animated feature in color, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," was produced in 1937. Walt Disney "basically signed a lifetime contract with Technicolor," said Fred Basten, a film historian who wrote the book "Glorious Technicolor." "Every Disney movie since the 1930s has been done by Technicolor." With ongoing relationships with major studios, Technicolor dominated the industry in the '30s and '40s.