Film from 1929 found in camera….and developed: (more pics at link)

A Dutch photography enthusiast was stunned to find a hidden roll of film from 1929 when he bought a camera for his wife – and has now tracked down the relatives of the people in the pictures.

Martijn van Oers thought the camera would make a perfect decoration for his home in Breda, but was surprised to find a film inside marked ‘exposé’.

Despite being told that the chances any photos would have survived intact were incredibly slim, Martijn set about developing it and was ‘flabbergasted’ to get photographs from it.

After documenting his adventure online, social media users soon pointed out that the images looked like Biarritz, a seaside town on France’s Basque coast.

Three days later he was contacted by Marion Jurrjens, who said that the man in the images was her grandfather, who was with his wife and daughter – her aunt.

Martijn, 40, said: ‘After I had developed the photographs my one wish was to find the descendants of the people in the pictures and send them the negatives and camera.

‘Three days after the story went viral, I got a message from Marion, a Dutch woman that moved to Canada in 2004, who told me that the man in the images was her grandfather.

‘We started to chat on a daily basis and I am hoping that one day I will be able to fly over to her to deliver the negatives and camera myself.

‘I was so shocked that we had developed a film that’s been untouched inside a camera for decades, and we have been able to find pictures of people on them and then be able to find the descendants. It’s an indescribable feeling.’

Marion read about the photos in a Dutch newspaper and instantly wanted to let Martijn know that the pictures were of her grandfather Theo J. Lammers, his wife, Elisabeth Lammers-Berveling and Marion’s aunt Thea Lammers.

Theo was an architect and used the camera, which was very expensive at the time, for his work but also always took it on holidays with him.

Marion said: ‘When I saw the pictures in the paper I felt that it was really special that the pictures were of them.

‘I began to wonder how the camera came to the thrift shop as my aunt was a hoarder and normally refused to get rid of things.

‘When my aunt died in 2003 I emptied her apartment and collected 10 photo albums that belonged to my grandparents and took them to Canada with me, so I instantly recognised them.

‘My grandfather was also meticulous in everything and wrote the date and place in white ink on the photos itself.

‘Himself, my grandma and auntie travelled extensively and documented all their travels so I have plenty of pictures of them.

‘I love all of the pictures and I would like to keep them all together as that is how they are meant to be.

‘My house is already rather full, since my grandfather was also a painter, but I hope I can find a spot to put them on the wall so I can remember this whole event.’

The images include portraits of Theo and Elisabeth along with pictures of them with Thea having a picnic next to an autobahn in 1954.

The Euro 30 camera was originally intended as a gift for Martijn’s wife, but as he spends a lot of his time working with high-end digital cameras he decided to try it out when he discovered the undeveloped film.

Martijn, who works as a sales rep for a camera company, said: ‘When I came home and gave the camera to my wife as a gift, she was over the moon.

‘After dinner I told her I was considering using the camera to take pictures with, since all the mechanics from the camera seemed to be in pristine condition.

‘I normally shoot all my photos with hi-end gear, so working with an old-school piece of equipment seemed like a lot of fun.

‘I’m not sure how she’ll react when I tell her I’m giving away her present.

‘For now, I have had large prints made of the images and they’re definitely going to go up on a wall in my house.

‘I will be sure to check the inside of any vintage camera I come across from now on.

‘If I find one that’s holding a film, I’ll definitely buy it.’

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  1. bogsidebunny says:

    Mu uncle gave me a “crown graphic” back in the 1960’s. It used 2&/1/4 x 3&1/4 sheet film. I had a ball with it. I developed and printed the Black & white photographs in a photo lab where I worked at the time.

    The youngsters using smart-phone “selfies” today don’t have a clue as to what fun they’re missing.

  2. Lburg says:

    Agree Bog. There are a lot of lightbulbs that go off in a darkroom…. Not to mention the sweet smell of fixer in the morning. Good times, good times.

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