Friday, February 17, 2012

More Found Film and some World War II History

Since I found some old negatives in a box of film containers I bought a few weeks ago I have been working on doing scans to see what images they hold. The negatives are extremely curled from decades spent wound up in a film container.  It takes some patience to coax the negatives into a film holder so they lay flat enough to scan.  Until you have actually experienced it you might not believe the spring that a strip of coiled up film has.  Because of that the scanning has been slow work.  And if it wasn't that some of the images I have found are very interesting to me I would have little enthusiasm for it. 

The most recent roll that I scanned had an image that helped me better tell when it was taken and also made me feel more connected to that time. 

As I was editing this photo I noticed that there was a Blue Star Flag in the entrance of the house.  You will probably need to click for the larger size to be able to see it.  The Flag is to the left above the soldier's head.  I remember hearing about these from my grandmother, however I had never seen one.  There also is a Gold Star Flag for families who lost a member in the war.  Unfortunately my grandmother became eligible to display both flags. The Blue Star Flag is a flag that families with members in the military can display. There is one star for each family member in the service. Although this started during World War I and continues to this day it was most frequently done during during World War II. The movement to display these flags was started by the Blue Star Mothers of America. This group first organized in March of 1942.  So my speculation is that while it is possible that a Blue Star Flag might be displayed at a later date it is most likely that it was displayed during WWII.  So that would date this picture from somewhere between 1942 and 1945.  The climbing rose in the picture may indicate that the picture was taken in early summer probably June.  At least that is when most of the climbing roses grown at that time tended to bloom.

The Badge on his shoulder appears to be for the Army Air Forces.  The Army Air Forces existed from 1942 until 1947.  So this again points to the likelihood that this picture was taken between 1942 and 1945.  At least that is my best educated guess and I could well be off.  if someone has better information I would be glad to hear it.  I imagine that someone who is familiar with the uniforms of the time could also tell about the wings on the shirt and the meaning of the hat badge. 

Lastly, there is this photo from some that I had uploaded earlier.  While this man resembles the man in the earlier photos, he does look older to me.  I am wondering if this is a brother represented in the other blue star? Although the service ribbons that aren't present in the other pictures could just mean this is a later picture of the same man after the experience of war had aged him more quickly than I would have expected to occur within the likely time frame for these pictures. 

Hopefully one day I may be able to find out more about these pictures instead of speculating about them.  To me it is a wonder that these negatives have survived for around 70 years.  I wonder how many of our digital photos will still be around in that many years.  One difference with these negatives and film found in cameras is that I am pretty sure that the people in these pictures saw and may still have prints made from these negatives.  In most of the film containers there is a little piece of paper with negative numbers that indicates a certain number of prints were made.

The entire gallery is here.

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