my son and I were wandering through the flea market in Geneva,
Switzerland, looking for photographic odds and ends that might be
useful to our photography hobby. Among other things we found
that day was a taped-shut, cloth-covered small wooden box which we were
promised would contain many delights (believe that and the flea
marketeer will tell you another). As I recalled, the seller,
in the end, threw it in for free
with the basic junk we bought.
When we got it home we found it was full of negatives taken in very early
1900's by a French family. There were small bits and pieces of
material to help identify the original owners, but not enough to draw
up any kind of a history of the locations and the subjects or their
identifications. The picture on the left was merely identified a "Voyage de Midi".
only hints to the type of camera and film used is the presence of what
appears to be a Kodak Box Brownie in the hands of one of the young
ladies and negatives are 6x9 cm and obviously cut from a roll of film.
Both of these are possible. The Brownie Box was first produced in
1900 (see history). The film curls badly - Kodak developed the first non-curl film in 1903 (see history).
On our departure in 1978 the box was packed up with all our clap-trap
and shipped home to the United States, its whereabout thereafter a
mystery until a week or so ago (March 2008). My daughter found it while
sorting through my late wife's squirreled away stuff (she was a world
champion pack rat) and I have commenced scanning the result for
presentation here. I am using a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000
scanner to digitize the photo, probably making them even clearer than the originally were.