Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Dusty Box of Photos: A Lost Art

Having nothing to do today, I went through my bookshelves to sell some stuff on Amazon. While doing so, I came across the below "book", which is actually a little box full of smelly old black and white photographs.

My wife told me she found it when she was cleaning out her grandfather's house when he died about 10 years ago. There is no explanation of any of the photos contained in the book-box.

Are these twins or is it the same kid? I miss the days when boxing was a normal sport for a young boy to participate in:

I wish this photo were bigger because this woman is absolutely beautiful. I can't tell if she's sad, bored, both or neither:

This old gentleman is stiffly sitting at a table in an elegant-looking backyard garden with a bottle of bourbon (?) on the table. There's only one glass so whoever took this photo was not drinking with him. How sad. Also notable is the garden gnome peaking out of the bushes in the bottom right-hand corner:

These people look like they're enjoying a snow day---just hanging out below a stop sign near some filthy hulking industrial building. This is probably in downtown Detroit. I wonder if that building became a victim of "Devil's Night" in later years:

Finding an old box of unexplainable crusty photos will likely never happen with pictures taken in the future. Photography software just doesn't have the character of a smelly old box that poses as a book.
What a find! It must be a wierd feeling to privately discover the only documentation of a person's existence.
What a beautiful post! They're gorgeous. I've never been one to put photos in albums. I like keeping them in boxes, love sifting through the chaos of images in no particular order.

Were they really smelly?
No, not too smelly. Just like old paper.
From the blogger's wife:
The little boy boxing is my dad. The man in the garden-- I'm not positive but I think it may be one of my grandfather's Austrian relatives who relocated to Argentina after WW2. I don't know who the foxy mama is, or the people in the snow. They lived in the upper peninsula of Michigan, then Detroit, so it is probably family or friends.
Great photos. I love digging through my parents' attic and finding the cigar boxes full of photos. Thanks for sharing some of these photos. The garden gnome is fantastic.
The double image of the boxing kid is a stereo photograph. It was made to look 3D when seen through a special viewer with two lenses, but you can get the same effect by holding it a foot or so away, crossing your eyes until you see three evenly spaced images of the boy, and then focusing on the middle one. It takes a little practice but I was able to do it looking at the photo on my monitor. Be sure there is someone around to smack the back of your head if your eyes get stuck but it will definitely go 3D, no shit.
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