Vintage footage of 1940s Australia found in garage sale

We’ve all sifted through the local garage sale before to see what treasures we could find, but this Californian hit the jackpot with a video reel of an Australian holiday from the 1940s.

The amazing footage was found at a front-yard sale in San Jose, California and has left historians gobsmacked.

Historians Tim Peddy and Rick Helin who found the reel, say it’s rare to find such excellent quality footage from that long ago.

“I passed on them initially, but Tim went back three days later and noticed they were still among the last items remaining to be sold,” Helin said.

“He then picked them up for $20USD just on a lark, believing as I did, that they were probably worthless geography films for educational purposes and mass produced. They obviously weren’t.

“In fact, they are quite remarkable — not only the Australian films, but the Hawaiian films as well. New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Mexico, Central America, and South American films are also included in the collection.”

Little is known about the original photographer but it is thought the footage was taken by a man travelling with his wife, likely aged in their 50s.

“We still have no idea who the photographer was, but we can surmise he was someone of great importance and access to enough money to travel extensively at this time of his life,” Helin said.

“In addition, only the wealthy could afford such a quality 16mm movie camera at this moment in time, but more importantly, it was very expensive to purchase film and to process these reels into a final product to be projected on screen.”

See the footage below and tell us: what do you think about this amazing video? What’s the best thing you ever found at a garage sale?

Become a Starts at 60 Member now.

Starts at 60 Members get a whole lot more value here. It’s free to join and you’ll get:

  • Exclusive emailers with the latest news and leading insights from retirement experts
  • Free online Retirement Masterclasses and other events
  • Amazing deals on tours, cruises, and community holidays from Travel at 60
  • And *new* an ecommerce marketplace just for over 60s with exclusive member offers

What are you waiting for?


Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up