World War I photos found inside antique camera

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Lookout

A collector of vintage photography equipment got an extra bonus when he picked up a French camera at an antique store: never-before-seen images circa World War I France.

Anton Orlov details the story of the lucky find on his blog the Photo Palace, where all of the eight photos from the Jumelle Belllieni stereoscopic camera can be seen.

Orlov writes in his blog that he came across the images completely by accident, as he was cleaning the recently purchased camera. He opened up the film chamber and found the negatives on a stack of glass plates.

He writes, “While viewing the images in their negative form it was difficult to say for sure what was on each of them, but after scanning them it became clear that they dated back to the First World War and were taken somewhere in France. Adding, “I absolutely love finding images that likely have never been seen by anyone in the world.”

The photography enthusiast tells Yahoo News by email, “I was very surprised when I found them. “ He noted that while he had found “plenty of undeveloped” film in old cameras before, he explained, “those are indeed ruined when exposed to light, and even if I try developing them it would be a very slim chance of getting anything usable from them.”

The black-and-white photos were taken in France, and document some of the destruction of the countryside. The images seem to be perfectly preserved, except for a couple that are marred by streaks of light.

Two of the photos seen here show the remains of the war: Two soldiers stand next to a big bomb. Another shows two men on horseback surveying the remains of a crashed airplane.

The remaining photos on Orlov’s website include train tracks that have been destroyed, an aerial view of a town showing the wear of the war. And a house that has been bombarded and fallen into a river.

World War I soldiers on horseback with airplane remains (Photo courtesy of Anton Orlov)