I used to claim that I didn't care for history, but going around from estate sale to estate sale and pilfering through someone's past has changed my mind, especially when we find old photographs or slides.
In most of our experiences, we sit and look through the photos and choose the ones we think would be cute scanned and printed again, the ones that might have potential for funny captions, and the ones that we can't believe the family passed up or missed when they sorted through the belongings.
Slides, on the other hand, are usually left behind by shoppers and many times they still sit on the shelf on the last day of the sale.
And, isn't it so random that this lady is in a hospital bed on the phone?
A few estate companies we shop with package slides up in office supplies; the boxes are tiny enough to fit in a ziploc bag with pencils and pens from a desk drawer. But, who wants them?
Let me tell you a story about this weekend. I went to a sale that was in a small duplex in Dallas, and for the most part there were just a few things left (although I did come out with an armful of fun finds...I showed them on Instagram). In the office there was one box of slides sitting with a few supplies and an old slide viewer. I learned quite some time ago to always take a few out of the box and hold them up to light and have a look. I did the same this time.
(notice the red metal edges of these--and how thick each slide mount is)
Gosh, was I ever in for a surprise!!
I think these are from the late 1930s or early 1940s; you can see some hints of the war in a few (airplanes and all). They are all ladies, and they are all taken pin-up style, some nude, some not. There are pin curls and victory rolls, stockings and garter belts, and Mary Jane shoes. There are also a few slides of the men in what seem to be some kind of ceremony (more on that later, I'm researching the possibilities of the uniforms).
While I can't show you all of the slides on here (I'm not passing around nude images, from the 30s or any time), I can tell you that they are beautiful, and that they are classic war-time pin-up.
A friend asked what we might do with these slides and I'm not really sure at this point. I might have a few of them printed to hang in the house for art, but I'll have to be choosy. I may contact a museum, and I may just keep them. What would you do?
As far as buying slides, here's my take on whether you should.
- If they are from the decade that you lust after, then yes.
- If they are historical, absolutely.
- If you could use them for art, put them on your ticket.
- If they are random family pictures from random events, it depends. Could you use them to create something unique or funny, such as a birthday greeting or an e-card?
- Christmas or holiday photos, I would purchase.
- Always open the box and hold a few random ones up to the light to see what the pictures are.
- Even if the box says one thing, what's inside could be completely different.
- Blank slide mounts are always fun to have for paper projects; grab those any time you can.
Have you seen any slides at a sale or the thrift lately? Open the box next time! (Note: these photos of the slides are taken outside, putting my phone lens as close as I can in focus so that you can see the image.)