Snapshots in time: New York from the 1950s on slide film

A few days ago I was lucky enough to win an auction on Ebay for a couple of large boxes full of medium format, Kodak slides with over 200 really good quality, colour slides. There are many different locations and views in the two boxes, but my favourite images are some views of New York from the 1950s.

I paid a total of £31 for the two boxes, which was quite a good price because medium format slides can have really good quality images if they haven’t been subjected to damp or dust and therefore usually make quite a bit of money. I suspect one reason the price was only £31 was because the seller listed the slides as ‘large negatives’, so many collectors could have missed the fact that they were actually positive images.

When I received them, I found that although one of the boxes was a bit dirty inside and the slides also dirty, most of the dirt was on the glass of the mounts rather than the actual film emulsion so they cleaned up quite easily.

Actually, although I said above that the slides are 1950s, I can’t be certain of the date since medium format slides don’t have the processing date on the mount in the same way that 35mm slides do, so I’ve had to make a guess at the date based on the images. I decided that they were probably 1950s based on the cars shown in the street pictures, and the views of the New York skyline, although I am in no way an expert on New York; if anyone thinks the date is wrong please let me know.

I looks as if at least some of the images were taken during a sight seeing tour of the City with traditional pictures of the famous land marks such as the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and the New York skyline, but some of the other images in the boxes were images of a particular company building in New York. It may be the photographer was an employee of a company with an office in the city and they visited on a regular bases. One of the fun parts of vintage photograph collection is to try to imagine the story behind the images.

To scan these slides, I removed them from the original glass slide mounts and cleaned the film with lint free dry lens wipes. I then scanned the film prior to cleaning the slide mounts and glass so the original film was returned to it’s protective mount.

Views of New York from the 1950s

Snapshots in time
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A software developer by profession, I've always been interested in photography and vintage photography in particular. This site is one of several I run which is dedicated to film, photography and photo equipment.

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