100 Year Old Photos Found in an Antique French Camera



How often can you say that have you come across an actual historical discovery? Anton Orlov (of San Diego, CA) made just such a lucky find inside of an ca. 1901 Bellini Jumelle stereo camera (similar to the one pictured above) he purchased at a shop for about $100. Head on past the break to hear about what he found inside.


Anton Orlov is a dedicated analog photographer, he loves everything about the process and operates a travelling darkroom inside of a retrofitted 1970’s-era school bus (be sure to check that out here). On a tip from a friend, Anton found out about an antique shop that had just acquired a large lot of vintage photography equipment from an estate sale; trouble was, he had to drive over 100 miles (one way) just to get there. After digging through seemingly endless piles of odds & ends, Anton came across a rather interesting camera (similar to the one seen at the beginning of this post) which he decided to take home with him. After some heavy-duty cleanup of the exterior of the camera, Anton wrestled with figuring out just how to open the back of the camera to check out the guts (some old gadgets are near-impossible to figure out with no instructions). Once the back was open he found quite a surprise inside!


Inside the camera were 12 glass plates (4 of which were blank) and 8 negative images. Anton couldn’t quite tell what was on the plates and decided to scan them in to get a better look. Once he saw the images as positives, he quickly realized what he had found; images from WWI-era France that had likely never been seen before. Lost to the ages, these negatives miraculously survived inside this old camera for close to (or possibly over) 100 years, a full century!


Blown away by this discovery, Orlov has made some prints from the negatives, and is keen to get these photos out into the world as they are a genuine glimpse in to a by-gone era that many have never seen before. Currently he is featuring the images on his bus as he tours around in the travelling darkroom. Be sure to catch up with him on his website and blog, and check out the rest of the discovered images.


Sourced from: NBC San Diego

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