What struck me first was how much she looked like my grandmother, Marjorie.
It was just another post on Facebook. People post links to news articles all the time. But her face stopped me from scrolling. And then I saw the headline, "Rediscovered 70-year-old photos spark world-wide quest".
As I read about the mystery surrounding a roll of undeveloped film found in a 1950's camera, I was drawn in. A vintage camera discovered in 2015 had a roll of undeveloped film inside.
The owner, William Fagan, recently developed the images, and wanting to know who was in the pictures, allowed the photographs to be published in the hopes that someone, somewhere would recognize the woman or her companion who appear to be on holiday in Switzerland and Italy.
*all pictures in this post are from William Fagan's collection and were accessed here.
Fagan contacted his friend, Mike Evans, who then published an article that went viral. Updates have been published since then, giving updates as clues are uncovered and the public chimes in with theories.
This picture, below, was identified due to a keen eye observer noticing the buildings and signs in the background.
Some have guessed that the couple was on their honeymoon.
I not only wished I could take the time to discover who they were and how the camera came to be in the hands of an Irish photography buff. I also found myself longing to do this full time, all the time. It has become such a joy and passion for me to research old things, and find the answers and tell the stories that had been thought to be lost forever. Not just old photographs but old letters, old homes... anything from the past that begs to be discovered. Layers of history waiting to be told.
Only a handful of photographs, but layers upon layers of story. I wish I knew all that those pages held.
I have described myself as a 'history detective', but thanks to Francesca Street at CNN, I now have a new name for what it is I do. Photographic archeologist.
You can read her article here: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/mystery-photos-europe-1950s-travel-william-fagan/index.html
Read Mike Evan's original article here: https://www.macfilos.com/2020/09/11/swiss-roll-hidden-for-70-years-these-photographs-were-recovered-from-an-ancient-leica-film-cassette/
Will the mystery woman be found? I hope so. I am envious of the one who unearths her identity and gets to tell her tale of holiday in Switzerland, gets to relive her visit to a Pasticceria, and roam with her on the streets of 1950s Bellagio Italy with her dachshund.