An image from the Kodak Super XX film Derek Wong bought in Michigan.

The next time you’re in a thrift shop or antique store, keep a lookout for photographic treasures. While old cameras are always eye-catching, the images captured with those cameras are often more intriguing as Mike Ames and Derek Wong discovered.  

Ames came across a number of small tins of developed Kodak Panatomic film in a Roanoke, Virginia thrift store and once he saw that the negatives were in good condition, he purchased the tins and had the film scanned. In all, Ames now has more than 400 historic images dating back to around 1938. Ames’ research indicates that many of the photos were taken in Italy prior to World War II but perhaps the most historically significant discovery was a photo of Adolf Hilter appearance in a parade. 

Wong, who lives in Michigan, paid a mere $3 for a roll of developed Kodak Super XX film in an antique store. After doing some research, Wong estimates the images were taken some time between World War II and 1958, when the film was discontinued. 

While Ames and Wong may never know who took the photographs, it’s fascinating to see the past through the eyes of others. 

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Also, take a look at DPReview Editor Barnaby Britton’s 1939: England in Color posts where he shares a fascinating collection of 75-year-old color slides he found in his grandmother’s attic.