Photographer makes amazing find inside old camera bought at antiques shop: images from World War I in France


posted Monday, January 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM EST


Photographer Anton Orlov made an amazing discovery after he purchased a French stereoscopic camera at a cluttered antiques store recently: a collection of rare images of the first World War were stashed inside.

The images, a few of which are shown below, were in negative form on thin plates of glass inside a Jumelle Belllieni stereoscopic camera Orlov bought at the shop. He found them after he brought the camera home and started cleaning it.

Here's how Orlov, who runs The Photo Palace Bus, describes the find on his blog:

"Inside each film chamber I found a stack of neat little glass plate holders (12 total). While 4 of them were empty the rest contained the original thin plates of glass.  The last thing that I ever expected to find though were negative images on those plates!  Each of them seem like they were fully developed! The glass is clear (I am not sure if dry glass plates had antihalation backing on them and am in touch with an expert to try to find that out) in the dark areas and fully exposed and dark in the light areas."

He said he wasn't sure what the negatives were images of until he scanned them in and saw incredible photos of unexploded bombs, destroyed buildings, and downed fighter planes, which he deduced were taken somewhere in France during World War I.

You can see more of the images and read further about Orlov's amazing find here.

Three soldiers and the remains of an airplane.
Two soldiers, one holding up a sizable bomb.
A house in a river after a bombardment.
A soldier by ruined train tracks and destroyed houses.