For decades I have had in my possession three envelopes containing negatives holding images from around 1919. The negatives were given to me by my grandmother, along with the camera, tripod, timer and operators manual used by my grandfather to make the images.
I have just taken the time to discover that my scanner can scan negatives. Scanning negatives involves software and a top light (so that the scanner is shining light from the top while reading the information from the bed). This scanner can only scan four 35 mm negatives at a time. That adds up to a capacity to capture any negative in a space of roughly one inch by five inches. My grandfather’s negatives are roughly three inches by five inches, so all of my scans are capturing only the middle third of each picture on the horizontal plane. Plenty of good information in that middle third. Good enough to take the time to scan a few, anyway.
I need my relatives to help identify the people and scenes. I originally assumed that most of the images showed my grandfather and grandmother, but my mom says that my uncle has already identified some folks as other folks altogether. Still interesting.
Hard to express how exciting this is for me. I never met my grandfather, yet I feel a real connection to him through our shared abilities and interests. He was a farmer and an auto mechanic and enjoyed photography and motorcycles. Replace auto mechanic with bicycle mechanic and it seems like we would have much to talk about. Seeing these 90 year old images, perhaps for the first time, is an experience I will not soon top.
Soon I will have the negatives scanned on a proper scanner so that I can share complete images.