lost and found

Breathing new life into lost photographs

Tag: history

Guildford Bicycle Club Outing (Part 1)

This small photograph was found online (one of two, I will share the second soon…). There was no information on the reverse of the photo but the listing described them as ‘Guildford Bicycle Club 1950s‘. This image was my favorite because of the movement, smiles and shop fronts shown.

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.

The Bike Race

Black and white photograph showing a cyclist going up a hill and another coming down, people are watching them cycle up/down a path.

I found this small photograph (4.25 x 3.25″) on ebay and thought I would post it as the 2022 Tour-de-France enters it’s final days. This race looks organised, but not in the same league as the tour. Several cyclists are racing and there is even someone checking their camera bottom left. No information on the other side of the photograph.

Smiling ladies at work

This 5×4″ photograph was found on ebay, no information on the reverse. Think it might be from the 1940s or 50s judging by the clothes. Almost all of the ladies are smiling and looking at the camera, even the lady in the far distance. I like the line of light reflected on the floor, the out of focus lady in the foreground and the solitary man in the distance.

General Store Window

I bought this photograph from an antiques centre in Whitchurch, Shropshire. It measures 5 x 3.5 ” and is printed on Kodak paper but doesn’t have any information on the reverse relating to the subjects. As you can see the shadows in the image are very dark (I try not to adjust the images I find too much). I did try to read the sign above the door by changing the contrast in Photoshop but could only read the second of two words which was ‘Right’. The photograph itself contains a lot of information, the prices are before decimalisation (1971), the sign written window tells you that they have bananas (which can also be seen in the doorway), pineapple, a range of potatoes, grapes, eggs, oranges, fish and lettuce.

J.Kornweiss New York

I bought this photograph yesterday. I decided to take a different way home from work and spotted a book sale at a shop which was closing down. This cabinet card was lodged within a pile of modern postcards. No information on the reverse but the photographer’s name and address is shown below the photograph: J.Kornweiss, 151 Rivington St, New York. As you can see 151 Rivington Street is now a sake bar. I also found another blog called forgotten New York with information relating to the history of Rivington Street, many Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe lived in this part of the city. J.Kornweiss had a studio at 155 Rivington Road at some time (perhaps moving for larger premises?) because the National Museum of the American Jewish History holds several portraits.

Toothless Mirth

My friend Sheila generously donated two albums to my collection. The image above is one of many documenting family life in Bessacarr, a surburb of Doncaster (although Shropshire is also featured). All the photographs have been meticulously mounted and titled; this one reads ‘Toothless Mirth’ and measures 4.25 x 3.25″. They family seem to be having fun, I’m not sure what the lady in the middle is balancing on! The photographs on this page of the album are dated 1918.

Fred & his Daughter Marnie

Fred and his Daughter Marnie

This photograph is part of an album found in the wonderful Nightingale House Hospice shop in Whitchurch, Shropshire. The photographs within the album are taken in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1894, the title of this one is handwritten below Fred & his Daughter Marnie. The cover of the album told me when the photographs were taken, see image below. I love the title of the album, I will post some of the other stray shots soon…

Stray Shots


Young Lady & Her Cat

young lady and her cat_0001

This postcard dropped through my letterbox this morning, I bought it from ebay at the weekend. No information on the sitter or the cats name but I thought it was a lovely image.

Colley’s Music Stores

Colley's Store

This small photograph (2.25 x 3.25″) was found at an antiques fair. It looks as though many of the people shown in the photograph were employed on the buses. I’m not sure where Colley’s Music Store was/is, perhaps you know?

Thank you to Katherine Griffiths who found Colley’s Music Store in an old newspaper. Following Katherine’s lead I found an advert in the British newspaper archives, the store was having a closing down sale shown in the Daily Mail on April 10th 1933. The address of the store was also shown 59 Anlaby Road, Hull.