If you’re a history buff or a photography memorabilia collector with a particular interest for World War II items, you’ll find our latest vintage find fascinating. But, we have to warn you that it’s a collection that costs a fortune for its historical value. The star of the show is a negative from the Hiroshima Bombing which is claimed to be the only negative from the historic event to be auctioned off after going undiscovered for 74 years.
According to Stamford, Connecticut ebay seller classicbooks, the collection belonged to a soldier who served in the 9th Photographic Technical Squadron. The negative is described as a 9×9″ Kodak Black and White negative depicting the Hiroshima Bombing on August 6, 1945, and it went mostly unknown until 2016. Aside from the negative, other items include 223 first-generation silver prints (37 of which are 8×10″) and a No. 1A Pocket Kodak folding camera in good condition. The photos were taken in Guam and Japan and developed by the 9th Photographic Squadron.
The listing also mentioned that the negative was most likely shot with a Fairchild K-22 aerial camera, which was often fitted onto aircraft like the Boeing B 29, Douglas A-20, and North American P-51 and F-86. The K-22, loaded with a roll of 9″ film, yielded either 9×9″ or 9×18″ images. No one knows for sure which plane snapped the photo, but the listing noted that it’s most likely a Boeing F-13A Reconnaissance Superfortress, which was a modified B-29 bomber. Unverified indication specifically pointed to a unit called “Valiant Lady” from the 3rd Photo Reconnaissance Squadron.
Since the main item in this listing is the Hiroshima Atomic Bombing negative, we’re sure you’re all curious about its condition. The seller said that it was folded when it was found, but was gently flattened for scanning. It also has small tears around the edges. The first generation prints, however, are in very good condition.
The entire collection is going for a Buy It Now price of $2 Million, but you can certainly make an offer. Not to discount its historical value and significance, but it’s precisely that and the price it’s going for that makes us think this is a collection likely to be picked up by a museum or wealthy collector. So, if you’re keen on at least seeing these items, you might want to tip this to your local museums instead — if a wealthy private collector doesn’t beat you to it.
Photos from the ebay listing by classicbooks