Family History

old photographs

One of my most recent photo projects, is scanning and cataloging old photographs my grandfather took when he was younger. He had given me a box full of negatives back when I was in high school and for whatever reason I didn’t start really going through them until this past fall. They are all in black and white and from the 1930s-1940s. They range in subject anywhere from friends/family, to still life, landscapes, etc. Some of my most favorite ones though, are of my grandparents shortly after they were married. This one was taken in the early 40’s.

Here’s another one. My grandmother in front of my grandfather’s first store. He sold linoleum, mattresses, bed springs, rugs, and more. Look at those prices! This one was probably sometime around 1939. They were married in 1940, 3 months after my grandmother graduated high school.

For those of you that don’t know me, my family has owned a hardware business, since 1912. My great grandfather (fathers side) started it. It is currently still in business. In or around when these photos were taken, my grandfather had a disagreement with his father and started his own store about 20 blocks away. It only lasted a few years, then he ended up going back to the family business.

It’s incredible looking at these photographs, knowing what I know now, almost 70 years later. Since going through these negatives, I have searched for and uncovered hundreds more negatives, slides, and prints that my grandfather has taken over the years. Some are color and some are black and white. I’ve learned so much about my family and it’s past while uncovering it all.

As I continue to work on this massive project, I will be posting more photos, some with full blog entries, others just with some captions. In the meantime, I urge everyone reading this to go out and learn as much about their family’s history as possible. Find any old negatives your parents or grandparents may have, ask them anything they remember about them, record those conversations if you can. I guarantee you will find out things about your family that you never would have guessed.

Feel free to post questions about uncovering your family’s past, comments on my photographs, or anything else.

  1. screamy mimi says:

    I really wish I could do this too. I think much of my family’s history has been lost, and there are so many questions I wish I could ask my grandmother since she died three years ago. I think my mom may have gotten some of her old photos…or they may be slides. Do you know of a good way to transfer slides to digits?

  2. Brad says:

    Yea. I just finished digitizing a batch of probably a few hundred slides, at least. I bought a flatbed scanner which can do slides and a couple different size negatives. It only cost me $100. They do have slide scanners, specifically, but they’re much more expensive. The only other way I know of, would be to bring them to a photo processing place. Some of them will digitize them for a fee. If you have a lot though, it will most likely be more expensive then a scanner. The one I have is an Epson Perfection 4490. I’ve got no complaints about it.

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