$12 Bag Of Mystery SlidesK. Praslowicz
Hi! I don't do as much text blogging as I used to, as most of my efforts have shifted towards video content. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.View The Channel
Back in February of this year I got a message from one of my friends asking if I wanted to buy this bag of random Kodachrome & Ektachrome slides in a zip-lok bag for $12 he found at a local antique store.
You’re damn right I did! He purchased the slides and shortly after we had what probably looked like a shady daylight drug deal on the side of the road.
I’ve sorted through the bag and have picked and scanned a few of my favorite images to share here today. If you are into watching instead of reading, this is also presented as video content on my YouTube channel.
For what it is worth, I’ve done minimal color correction and zero dust removal from these images. In contemporary fine art photography circles I really hate the modern trend of being lazy and leaving dust on images. But in the case of finding an old bag of snapshots, I don’t think it really takes away from the images.
The date range of the images starts with this photograph of a mitre wearing Catholic along with some Knights of Columbus from 1966.
And the most recent slides in the bag, such as this family photograph, comes from 1990.
Here we have a random photograph of an automated banking unit from 1975. A common thing in this day and age, but I expect this was new and novel enough in 1975 that the photographer needed to take a picture of it to show people back home.
Here we have a photograph of a random boy on the street. The kid has some pretty incredible ninja panda attire.
Some people posing in front of a sign for the Bong Bridge in Superior, Wisconsin. The slide is stamped with July 1985, but according to Wikipedia the bridge didn’t actually open until October 1985. So I’m guessing this is some kind of “Let’s get a photo with this new thing” snapshot.
A woman at Busch Gardens smothered in Parrots. Or are these Macaws? I don’t know. I’m no birdologist.
Train car at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Dude jumping a jet ski! RAD! I can tell that this was taken on Lake Superior as the bridge in the background is the John A. Blatnik Bridge. AKA, the other bridge that connects Duluth and Superior that college kids don’t giggle at when they hear the name.
A big pile of junk. Box in front of it mentions Johnny Horizon. I was unfamiliar with this name, but again Wikipedia to the rescue letting me know that Johnny Horizon was a fictional character for an anti-litter campaign in the 1970s. So I’m guessing all this junk is some sort of anti-litter installation.
Kit Carson’s Grave. 1987. Again, I’m not familiar with who Kit Carson is, but Wikipedia tells me he was a famous 19th-century American frontiersman. I didn’t really expect this bag of slides to be so educational. But here we are!
A woman sitting on a bench. On a whim I googled “Pancake Chef Restaurant” to see if it was still around to place this photograph. And to my surprise it was! Appears to be taken in Mackinaw City, Michigan where the Pancake Chef restaurant still operates.
Some tight dolphin action photography from the Miami Seaquarium
Giant Pepsi-Cola can at some 4th of July festivities.
Parade float “Perils of Pauline”. The train has EMU written on it which I guess would mean Easter Michigan University. If true that would put this photograph in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Another parade float, this time from 1988 celebrating Pizza Hut’s 30th anniversary during the Golden age of pizza hut & Care Bears cross-branding. If there is a Book-It sticker buried somewhere in this image, then it would be the perfect summation of my childhood.
So there were several slides in the bag of this woman in a classroom just labeled “Polly Miller.” I couldn’t Google-fu a good result as to which Polly Miller this may be, or what her claim to fame would have been that the photographer gave her so many images. If you know, please leave a comment.
Portrait of a woman at a desk.
An older man giving an older woman a ride on a Suzuki motorcycle.
Toxaphene! I don’t know what that word means! Might as well look it up and learn another new thing from this bag-o-slides.
OK. Toxaphene was an insecticide used in the 1960 and 70s which ultimately got banned worldwide because, well it was toxic. Taken during the same month and year as the previous junk pile photograph, so probably part of the same sort of environmental causes public installation.
I dig the cowboy in the background.
Woman in from of some old arch looking things. No date or info on the slide. I’m not even going to try and guess more about it. But it is interesting how the middle section of this pic is all blurry. There were quite a few other slides in the bag that had this same optical defect. I wonder if the photographer scuffed their lens or something on a vacation and just went with it. Who knows.
And finally, my favorite image of the bunch. This girl wearing a WILD shirt with a dog. The color pop from the shirt. The choice framing to cut off her head. ::chef’s kiss::
I could probably go to the r/analog subreddit today and post this photograph with some made up gear specs and probably get 10,000 upvotes for it.