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WWII vintage found negatives
Old 07-28-2011   #1
Brad Buszard
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WWII vintage found negatives

My wife discovered a bunch of old nitrate 35mm at an estate sale a while back. We were shocked to find that the family had no interest in them, so we took them with us. I'm only now scanning some in. I thought I'd put a few up here to let others have a look at them and comment. Lots of pictures of sailors, etc. back from overseas, a picture of Memphis downtown (complete with streetcars), and what looks to me like a military barracks. Other than a bit of a contrast curve, the photos are unaltered and full frame.







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A few more
Old 07-28-2011   #2
Brad Buszard
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A few more







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And a few more
Old 07-28-2011   #3
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And a few more









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Old 07-28-2011   #4
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Screw all the new the film, camera's, lenses etc. This stuff looks great!
What size are these negatives?
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Old 07-28-2011   #5
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What a gem !!
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Old 07-28-2011   #6
Brad Buszard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogier View Post
Screw all the new the film, camera's, lenses etc. This stuff looks great!
What size are these negatives?
Just 35mm. I have no idea what type; they just say "Nitrate film" by the sprocket holes. There's some nice swirl in whatever lens this man used, and from the skies I think he must have had a yellow filter on it at least some of the time.
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Old 07-28-2011   #7
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My 90 year old father died a few few months back and, while cleaning out the basement of his condo, we found several boxes of B&W negatives from the 1930's and 1940's in all formats. Talk about a treasure trove of old pictures, most which I had never seen before. Even found some rare WW2 combat pictures he took while stationed in the South Pacific. Absolutely incredible stuff.

Jim B.
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Old 07-28-2011   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
My 90 year old father died a few few months back and, while cleaning out the basement of his condo, we found several boxes of B&W negatives from the 1930's and 1940's in all formats. Talk about a treasure trove of old pictures, most which I had never seen before. Even found some rare WW2 combat pictures he took while stationed in the South Pacific. Absolutely incredible stuff.

Jim B.
Would love to see some of them if you can.
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Old 07-28-2011   #9
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I see US Army uniforms and US Navy uniforms. The area with the two water towers did not look to me like a military area at first. However, in WWII, many areas were set up quickly or areas were taken over. It could be a headquarters area next to a parade field.

The thing that puzzled me was the totem pole. If there aren't or weren't totem poles in the Memphis area, I would wonder it the photographer's unit wasn't sent to Alaska or Canada. There wouldn't have been native totem poles as that would not have fit any USA native indians of the lower 48. The photo of the lady would fit for someone working as a secretary or receptionist for the military. Spartan looking as it was.

The two lieutenants were infantry. I don't know what infantry would have been there, or if those are all taken in the Memphis area. But the Navy used to have a large presence there so soldiers and sailors could have easily been in that area together.
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Old 07-28-2011   #10
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Lots of great info; thanks especially for the link on the totem pole. I'll get some more scanned over the next few days and we'll see what's what.

Any idea what the fountain is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by memphis View Post
also, the church behind the courthouse is still there- -
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Old 07-28-2011   #11
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Fabulous, all great.
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Old 07-28-2011   #12
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More, more!

The little girl in the photo at the fountain would be about my age now, maybe a little bit older.

Wonderful snaps!

With best regards,

Pfreddee(Stephen)
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Old 07-28-2011   #13
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Oh early M1941 'Parsons' field jackets with the pocket flaps! Shame I can't make out the Distinctive Unit Insignias on any of them. Definitely 1941-42 ish.

The Navy man feeding the doves is an Aviation Machinest's Mate by the look of it.

Absolutely fantastic pictures Brad, thanks for sharing them!


Mackinaw, I'm with oftheherd, I would love to see those photos.
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Old 07-29-2011   #14
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From wikipedia:

During the Second World War, the War Department constructed large supply depots in Memphis for the Army and the Army Air Force. The Memphis Army Depot also served as a prisoner of war camp, housing 800 Axis prisoners. ... in 1942, the US Navy built the Millington Naval Air Station (now the Naval Support Activity Mid-South) in Millington, Tennessee, just north of Memphis. This 3,500-acre (14 km2) facility provided pilot training during World War II, and later became the major naval air technical training center for enlisted personnel aviation speciality training. It is currently used as a naval personnel center and Headquarters for the US Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center.
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Old 07-29-2011   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
Would love to see some of them if you can.

Here are a few action photos, both of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands taken late 1943, early 1944.





For the jeep pic, note the Japanese prisoners in the back seat. The second pic is of an airfield (foreground) being built. Note the active volcano, which I think is the Balgana volcano.

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Next installment
Old 07-29-2011   #16
Brad Buszard
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Next installment















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Old 07-29-2011   #17
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Very cool. Great find/get.

I'm not an archivist, but I believe that nitrate negatives can present some storage problems. They can spontaneously combust. I have no idea if you need to do anything about this but I thought I would mention it.
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Old 07-29-2011   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memphis View Post
Thanks Memphis. Who knew? I thought it looked authentic, but never suspected it was actually a real one imported to Memphis.

Thanks for all the other info as well. Can't beat someone from the local area to give good local information.
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Old 07-29-2011   #19
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Brad Buszard - what incredible photos! Can you tell the date on the newspaper? That is a wonderfully historical photo. So are the others as well. Everything from combat to families at Easter and daily military life. Fantastic. Are there more?
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Old 07-29-2011   #20
Brad Buszard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
Can you tell the date on the newspaper?
Most of it: Wednesday, November 11 194-

The last digit is too blurry. From the day of the week it must be a 2.

I have at least a few more negatives to scan, and will get to them in the next couple of days.
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Old 07-29-2011   #21
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I had a similiar experience about 10 years ago. I went to a tag sale that was advertising as having photo equipment. When I got there I was told that a dealer had bought just about everything but there were still some darkroom stuff in the basment. I went dowstairs and on the counter was a metal index card file draw filled with 6x6 cm negatives in individual manila envelopes with a contact print attached to the outside of each envelope. There was also a box of loose negatives of various sizes. When I asked if they were for sale, I was told "Oh you can just take those". They turned out to be a treasure trove of images from the 30's to 60's, including a lot of NYC, all taken with high quality cameras. I felt like I won Lotto

I wonder how many digital images will survive?

John
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Last edited by Time Freeze : 07-29-2011 at 18:30. Reason: Added a thought
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Old 07-29-2011   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Buszard View Post
Most of it: Wednesday, November 11 194-

The last digit is too blurry. From the day of the week it must be a 2.
That would fit with the second headline - Tanks Take Oran - see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Torch

A bit of further rummaging leads to here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vichy_France

Under "Overview" it dates the Nazi occupation of Vichy France as 11th November, so the Washington Post was right on the ball.

Fascinating stuff!

Adrian
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Old 07-30-2011   #23
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November 11 1942 is about right for the headline on the Allies capturing Oran.
[edit]...darn, missed Adrian's post.


Jim, thanks for posting those. I think I've mentioned this before, but it's interesting to see they removed the top bows and the windscreen of the jeep.
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Third and perhaps last installment
Old 07-30-2011   #24
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Third and perhaps last installment

This may be it. I'll check with my wife to see if we have more squirreled away somewhere.













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Old 07-30-2011   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
That would fit with the second headline - Tanks Take Oran - see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Torch
LOL!! I assume it's Yanks -- not "Tanks" -- take Oran...
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