The great delight of scanning is that you can make the little large, bring the background to the foreground, and frame the frameless. This is a small detail of a background sketch which forms part of a 1949 advert for KLM Airlines. I’d be happy to have it printed on canvas and hung on the wall.
I have a box of old negatives of unknown provenance that, I occasionally, dip into. I have no idea who took these photographs but I always think of a negative as a project begging to be completed. The chance to come along sixty or seventy years later and pick up someone else’s project is a fine way to waste time on a rainy morning. Almost as good as a game of bowls on a sunny Spring day.
There was a time when, if you were very lucky and had a lot of very expensive equipment and an antenna the size of Blackpool Tower, you could communicate with people on the other side of the world. You were a radio ham. You would have a call sign like a mathematical equation and would get very excited if you could contact someone in outer Mongolia and ask what the weather was like. Such a person was Harold Ryall (W1NKW) of Nahant, Mass. and here is a picture of him in his radio shack. Just why I should have his photograph in my “lost and unwanted” box is beyond me – perhaps I should call him up and ask him.
This is an illustration from a 1922 book entitled “Dickensian Inns and Taverns” by B W Matz. It shows one such old Dickensian inn – the Red Lion in Bevis Marks in the City of London. Being of such historic importance it was, inevitably, demolished in the 1960s. A new concrete and marble place was incorporated into the office block that took its place. For reasons best known to itself, it changed its name to the White Horse and then eventually, back to “The Lion”. You can still go there today and see Dickens crying in the public bar.
If you carefully read the mission statement of Pictures From The Past (which you probably haven’t done as I still haven’t written it) you will see that the focus of the blog is on photographs that are both old and – in one way or another – lost. Whilst this particular photograph has never actually been physically lost, some of the information about it has been. The man on the left is my maternal grandfather, Albert Beanland, and the woman is his wife, my grandmother Kate Beanland. The question, however, is who is the child? It has the look of a grand-daughter, but Albert and Kate only had two grandchildren – myself and my brother – and even with a liberal amount of non-gender-specific clothing, the child looks like neither of us. So whoever it is, is a lost child, waiting to be found.