While at a Container Store in Northwest Austin this past week asking about storage boxes for photos, I mentioned to the helper (who turned out to be the Store Manager) my interest also in old cameras. "We have some old cameras in one of our shelving displays!" he said. "And one has a roll of film in it." We went over and looked at the cameras: two Argus C3s, a Kodak 120 box camera, a Kodak Flash Brownie, and a Foth Derby 1 with the 50mm f/2.5 lens and focal plane shutter.
It was the Derby that had the film--a wound up roll of 127 in a plain yellow paper that said nothing on the outside about the brand or type of film. I offered to post any photos and mention his store if I could take the film home and try processing it, to which he agreed. This evening I got the chance to soup it up in HC110-H for 10 min. It turned out to be B&W film, fogged heavily throughout as is typical of old rolls, and having only one image on it. I often find old rolls that were used for one or a few photos before being put away for good--this was one of them.
Mark, it worked! Thanks for the try. Even though only one photo turned out, "every picture tells a story, don't it?"
So let's see what we can learn about this photo. The camera itself dates back to around 1935-38, but the truck is obviously a much later model than that. Ford? Dodge? The houses look like the cheap and common post-war housing of some midwest town. The image should have been sharper, but aging always "rounds out" the edges somewhat. The frame size is half-frame for 127, meaning that this image is actually oriented correctly for holding the camera in the normal "horizontal" direction. I can only guess that this photo records the early morning preparations for a weekend trip. Why no other photos were taken is anyone's guess. A sudden heart attack? Camera stolen at the first filling station? Misplaced by accident, only for a stranger to retrieve the one latent memory 50 years later? Hmm...