lost and found

Breathing new life into lost photographs

Category: photographers being photographed

The Combusto

This photograph, found on a well known auction website measures 7 x 5″. Franey Shore is shown on the left hand shop window, I thought this might be the proprietor’s name initially. I haven’t been able to find a place name match but there is a Franey Trailhead in Nova Scotia (although it’s unlikely the shop was in a remote walking location!). Once I had scanned in the photograph I spotted the photographer in the window refection (bottom right). If you are wondering what a clinker is, it’s a waste product from coal! I have deciphered the feint pencil on the reverse, it reads…’The first home of the Combusto, Tomkinsville, Staten Island (a name which I can’t decipher) inventor.’ Then printed it says Franey Shore & Co, which is the name on the shop window.


I contacted Local History and Genealogy at The New York Public Library (NYPL) after posting this photograph. They couldn’t find any record of the Combusto in Staten Island but they found several adverts from 1914 newspapers featuring the company with a New York address. They also provided a link to old New York photos by address which are fascinating and extremely useful for research.

An outdoor photographer’s studio

An outdoor Photographer's studio

This photograph or rather photographs arrived in the post yesterday, I bought them on a well known auction site. The print  measures 5 x 2″ and the reverse provides detailed information on the location, photographer, camera, exposure, even the film and paper.

The only challenge was the handwriting which is beautiful but needed to be deciphered. I’m unsure if the photographer’s surname or the film name are correct or not. I thought the images looked American so searched state names to discover the location was Snyder, Texas. It has been taken on a stereo camera which is why there are two images.

An outdoor photographer’s studio on a vacant let in Snyder, Texas Negative by Ewald Stiaach, a good stereo friend of mine. Rolleidoscope camera and plus x film f16 – 1/20 sec (very poor paper for stereo, outdated, fogged etc. etc )

The photographs look like a feature film set to me, the subjects are oblivious to the camera, looking away, I also liked the handpainted advert.

The online listing dates the photograph as 1928 although this isn’t written on the reverse.

Photography in Swimsuit

Photography in swimsuitI’m unsure where I found this postcard, it has a reference just out of shot of the scan so was probably taken by a seaside photographer and sold to the sitter. No information on the reverse of this postcard. The man taking the photograph seems to be concentrating and seems unaware of having his own picture taken. It is one of only a few photographs in my collection featuring photographers being photographed.