Archives for posts with tag: found photographs


“To see a thing clearly in the mind makes it begin to take form.”


Note: The above photo is a found snapshot showing a man posing with his prize fish and prized automobile — the Ford Fairlane. I have been struck by how many photos I’ve run across of people during the late 1950s and early 1960s posing with their Ford Fairlanes. I believe the car was so beloved because, as the Keats poem tells us, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”


While reviewing found photos from the late 1950s and early 1960s, I’m amazed at the number of photographs I find where people are posing with their Ford Fairlanes. I assume this occurred because they were proud of their cars and considered them beautiful. I have to agree. The Ford Fairlane of the late 1950s was a classic — a design that many consider a work of sublime art.

“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable.” HENRY FORD


I wrote several posts last week that featured found snapshots (an avid interest of mine), so was fascinated to read an L.A. Times review of Talking Pictures by Ransom Riggs — a book made up entirely of found snapshots and their captions.

Here’s the book’s description from

Ransom Riggs‘s Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each image in Talking Pictures reveals a singular, frozen moment in a person’s life, be it joyful, quiet, or steeped in sorrow. Yet the book’s unique depth comes from the writing accompanying each photo: as with the caption revealing how one seemingly random snapshot of a dancing couple captured the first dance of their 40-year marriage, each successive inscription shines like a flashbulb illuminating a photograph’s particular context and lighting up our connection to the past.


I tried to get Talking Pictures from the L.A. Library, but the cash-strapped institution has not yet ordered a copy. Instead, I reserved Ransom Riggs’ previous book — which also features found photographs (though I just learned this today) — Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Riggs has been collecting found snapshots since age 13, when he started to accompany his grandmother to flea markets in Florida. As he describes in the introduction to Talking Pictures (which I accessed via Amazon’s Look Inside feature): “What fascinated me about them — even more than the images themselves, at first — was that they were available for sale at all. I wondered how people could give away pictures of their families, even those of distant relatives they might not know or remember. Why would they give these photographs up — why, for that matter, would complete strangers want them?”

I am really, really looking forward to reading this book! Congratulations to Ransom Riggs on a beautiful execution of a great idea! 


“And then the car was beside him, not idling but panting like a deadly animal which may or may not be tamed.” STEPHEN KING, The Stand


Note: The above photo of man and car belongs to Java1888, who states on “I recently found this awesome 50s photo album at an antique store. Its full of extremely hip 50s people and their stuff!”

The dashing man in the cool suit and jaunty hat is a few years pre-Mad Men. My best guess is that car is a 1957 Ford Fairlane (a model sold from 1955-1970). While reading about Ford Fairlanes on Wikipedia, I was inspired to turn some of the words into the zen poem featured below.




by Wikipedia

For 1957, a new style gave 

a longer, wider, lower,

and sleeker look

with low tailfins.