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.”
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