« Yellow thing on wheels | Main | Independence Day 2006 »

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hang on to your old photos


That's my mom on the right. I'm pretty sure this was taken on about the eighth floor fire escape landing of the Myers Building at Sixth and Washington, Springfield, Illinois. She was the switchboard operator at a large doctors' practice in that building. Well, large for those days - five or six doctors. I do know for sure this was taken before I was born.

We have wooden boxes filled with old family pictures. We have suitcases jammed with photos. We have photos in drawers. We even have some photos in between the pages of old books. All these photos go back generations on both my mom's side and my dad's side of the family.

Have you ever been to a flea market to find large collections of old family photographs for sale. Do you ever wonder how they got there? Did someone in the family die, and no one else cared? Did the keeper of the photos fall on hard times, perhaps losing his home, thus becoming unable to keep the photos? I don't know how those photos end up out there.

I do have a pretty good idea of what happens to them when someone buys them at the flea market.

Check out Big Happy Fun House, a photoblog of found photos I've been following for some time. The links in his sidebar lead to even more found photos being blogged. This is what happens when your old family snapshots get released into the wild.

Even though most of our family photos are a little musty and totally disarranged, I must commend my parents (especially my mom) for doing such a fine job of keeping them through the years. They didn't lose them. The photos didn't end up in some giant garage sale. Let's just hope I can keep up the tradition.

Posted by Marie at July 4, 2006 2:46 PM


I love this post. Your mom looks very happy. Also I think it is neat that she had a job at the Myers Building. It just goes to show you that if the buildings could talk, who knows what kind of interesting stories they could tell. BTW old photographs facinate me. We had a house fire when I was about 11 and most of our photographs were destroyed. But my wife's side has several old photos still. Do you think any of our ancestors would have blogged if they had the technology back then?

Posted by: Randy at July 4, 2006 5:02 PM

Great post, Marie. Keep those photos in the family. We've been haphazardly sifting through, scanning, and cataloguing old family photos for a while now. Mom and Dad kept them in a box. When Dad died, she asked us to come get the ones we wanted. Old photos, even poor quality Polaroid instant pictures, have a quality about them that I just love. They’re absolutely worthless to anyone but us. That bighappyfunhouse link is a blast.

Posted by: Rob at July 4, 2006 10:16 PM