Category Archives: Found Medium Format

Post Nuclear Family at The Holiday Inn | Case #064

These three rolls of 120 film were recovered from Freeport Illinois. A couple were labelled, and in original packaging, so we know that the rolls of film themselves expired in 1970.

Roll One: Verichrome Pan Exp. September 1970
Labeled: “Coldwell”









Roll Two: Verichrome Pan
Labeled: Meramec State Park









Roll Three: Verichrome Pan Exp. September 1970
Labeled: Will Rogers









This Snowed Farm | Case #035

These photos comes from an old roll of Kodak Verichrome Pan Black & White film. It was placed back into the box after it was exposed, and the expiry reads Dec 1967.


Looks like a farm after a heavy snowfall. You can see a shovel to the left, and a dog and a cat.


This old truck is buried under a tonne of snow.



More shots of the farm, with the final image of the house itself.


Even with the damage, these were a great find. If you’ve never seen 116 film before, it’s huge, 70mm, as big as Imax film. Verichrome pan was the go to film of the time for black & white and it’s possible this was shot after it expired, but not likely.

2 Louisiana Patriots | Case #025

The Film
A single roll of Kodacolor-II Film, 120mm format on a 620mm spool. A film popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The camera is unknown but the focus in the photos is spot on the subject. Knowing that, it was likely not a box camera like a brownie, but a Kodak endorsed model, due to the 620 spool.

The Roll was purchased out of New Orleans, Louisiana

The Photos
Only two images turned out. It looks like in the next frame the shutter jammed, and then at a much later date the film was rolled up and removed safely enough to save these.


The first frame was so close to the to the beginning of the roll, where the film meets the paper backing with a piece of tape, that I cut part of the image when separating them in the darkroom. I remember thinking, “There’s going to be an image here, I just know it!”

Luckily nothing crucial was lost.


This seems like a quick portrait before they go off to a ceremony or parade. These guys look like war veteran’s, which war I couldn’t tell you, perhaps several. But, this does look like the 1980’s, based on the two tone car parked to the right. Kodacolor-II was made in this format after 1974, and the format was popular in the early 1980’s.

I wish I could see more of the flag, the man on the right is holding. I can make out “_____ln City” and what I guess to be “American world [something]” or “American [something] world”.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 4.40.55 PM

You can see the focus is good, but not enough to really make out the insignia or lettering on their uniforms.


The 1960’s Wisconsin Family Road Trip | Case #013

The Film
rex film

Various rolls of 135, 127 and 620 black & white film, mostly drug store brand, and a few Kodak. 16 rolls in all. Expiry dates range between 1959 and 1964. Almost all of the rolls had been placed back into their original box after the images were exposed. They were purchased at an estate sale in the US.

The Camera(s)
No camera came with these rolls. I believe three cameras in all were used.

The Images
There were just over 100 images in all that I was able to scan, of those I included half. I can’t be sure how many different time periods are represented here, but I’ve tried to group them together below.

Wausau Wisconsin Parade
The Johnson Hills Department Store  gives away its location as Wausau, WI. Images of this parade come up on three rolls of film and I’m almost sure pictures were taken by more than one member of the family. Nothing came up for “Morning Glory Fortified Milk” but apparently it’s a product worth knowing. 😉 The streets are packed, so it’s likely a state or federal holiday. You can also faintly make out a marching band.

UPDATE: September 27th, 2014
Thanks to Richard O’Connor for this comment!
“Came across this newspaper ad for Morning Glory Dairy dated August 13, 1959 Escanaba, Michigan . This was sort of confirmed when I found a listing for Foremost Morning Glory Dairy in Wisconsin. ” Foremost Farms USA, Morning Glory Dairy, 3399 South Ridge Road, De Pere, WI 54115, Phone: (920) 336-4206 Fax: (920) 336-7165. De Pere is a suburb of Green Bay which is East of Wausu and South of Escaaba, Michigan. I assume that Formost bought the original Morning Glory Dairy.”

Wisconsin State Capitol
My best guess for when this was taken was after 1959, but before 1964. The reason why I say before 1964 is that was when they apparently sand blasted and acid bathed the Legislature. In these images, the structure appears pretty grimy. I’m not too sure what the other building is but it can’t be too far away.
Some of these images are taken by one or both daughters. You can see them holding their cameras in other photos, and in one see one girl shooting the other.
Pickney Street is visable, giving me almost pinpoint accuracy of where these shots were taken. It was neat to see what the area looks like now with Google Street View.

The Van Douser Tower
The sign is plain as day in one of the photos but I didn’t see it until a few hours ago. When I checked online, it looked as though the original sign is still up (though they added a food/drink prohibitive sign). it’s dated June 7, 1959.

Other Notable Family and Road Trip Snaps
There’s a family dinner or two and some portraits here I wasn’t sure how to group them together. All of the events took place over multiple rolls with multiple photographers.

Most of the images were taken in Wisconsin between 1960 and 1965. I’m fascinated the most by the parade and would love if I could narrow the date for that specifically.

A visit to Alberta’s Frank Slide Interprative Centre circa 1930 | Case #009

The Camera
I came across a brownie camera. I do see quite a few of them, but this one was reasonably priced and had film in the back. At first I set it back down thinking “what are the chances?” but quickly changed my mind, bought it and took it home.

These cameras, were given away as a promotion for Kodak’s 50th Anniversary, specifically to boys turning twelve in 1930. If you know any 96 year olds, you may want to ask them if they had one.
Half a million were produced and this particular one was made in Toronto.

I had to remove the film in my darkroom in pitch black. It’s likely the camera and film were abandoned because the spool stopped progressing. So I’d have no idea what I had until I turned the lights on.

The Film
What I had was original brownie labeled film (Kodak Verichrome), and an original brownie spool. It could be its first or second roll of film which dates it in the early 1930’s. Not all boys would have received their brownie right in 1930 I’d imagine. It was probably an ongoing promotion until the half a million ran out.

When I first pulled the film out of the water, It looked like there was nothing, but once I held it up to the light, I saw shapes, a sign……AND PEOPLE!

I didn’t get my hopes up too much though, it was pretty obvious this film had been exposed to some light over the years. The viewing windows in the back faded over time.

The Images
These few images I managed to pull off the film did give us enough of a story.
A father, his wife and daughter, mother or mother-in-law (not to mention boy or girl with the camera) are on a road trip, which has at least one stop at Frank Slide. It’s possible they even got the camera while they were on their trip, or just before they left. They drove along the mountains, and stopped at frank slide.

The Frank Slide sign has changed over the years. I found this link to what looks to be the very first sign but if you look close, you see a few differences.

I came across this other one that was placed after 1914 and it looks like the right one, you can easily imagine where the photographer was standing as well.

Anyone know what mountain this is?

Edit: Special thanks to Crowsnest Museum for identifying the image below, of Turtle Mountain


I am always happy to come out of the darkroom with even one, hazy image that allows me to peer into the past. F-Men like Mark Kologi ( will say it’s like looking into something in ones self. I would agree.

A Canadian Farmer and His Wife | Case #007

Case #007: A Farmer and His Wife

The Camera

The No. 2A Folding Autographic Brownie was first introduced November 1915 and was discontinued in 1926. They made a few alterations in that time, and I was able to pinpoint this Kodak Brownie, to about 1920.
I found this old medium format camera at a flea market. When I asked the owner if there was film in it, he opened the back before I could protest. I thought for sure whatever was on there was lost but he assured me it was would up on the one end for the most part. Skeptical, but wanting a camera like this for awhile anyway, I purchased it.
Even though the red plastic view hole on the back was broken, further exposing the film, I was nervous about developing it myself. So I took it to an expert who said he didn’t have spools for this size film.
[rant] There aren’t a lot of professional darkrooms left, and you’d think the remaining ones would carry some oddball sizes just in case, then charge a premium! [/rant]
So with a little brains, and even less tape, I took a Paterson spool and made it slightly wider.

The Film
It takes 116 medium format film, which is pretty massive and the camera itself shoots large, wide negatives. Below I made a comparison to 35mm film.


This roll in particular is Kodak Verichrome Pan, and the manufacture code indicates it was produced in Canada in either 1932 or 1943. Because Kodak reused their codes every 11 years until 1950, I can’t be sure. Neither answer would surprise me based on the image.

The Image

I’m very happy to have even just one photo from this whole extravaganza!
We have a farmer and his wife on the back up a trailer. He’s holding a shovel, so they may be unloading something. The photographer is on something, enough to raise them slightly. Could be a hill, a fence… an automobile! There’s been enough light exposed, trickling in over time to fade out any detail of the faces. The image looks somewhat posed, so they probably know one another.

What follows on the roll of film is what appears to be overexposed frames. The shutter did stick intermittently when I bought it, that seems a good bet. The camera was produced in 1920, and the film manufactures code indicates Canada 1932/1943. Though the image itself screams early 20th century, I don’t see any clues to narrow that time gap.

Thanks to Greg for the comment: “Looks to be a screw type grain auger in the grain storage bin behind the trailer. Screw type grain augers were not available till 1953 so I would think the picture would be late 50s to early 60s, also fits with the type of trailer and wheels on it.”

None the less it’s an amazing example of how resilient film it. Even though the back was opened, the rolled up negatives protected the very first frame, and in this case, seemed to be the only proper exposure before camera failure anyhow….crazy.