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Internet Quest: The Girls in the Photographs

Internet Quest: The Girls in the Photographs

Meagan Abell, a professional photographer in the US, was perusing a second-hand shop in Richmond, Virginia, when she came across a box of vintage photographs.

Sifting through these old photos, she came across what she thought at the time were four sets of negatives, gathering dust. Intrigued, she bought them and took them home to scan them.

When they had developed, she was shocked at the level of detail in the pictures and by how beautiful they were. And what piqued her curiosity even more is that she knew absolutely nothing about the story behind them, or who them women might have been.

The store owner where Meagan got the negatives didn’t know anything about them, Meagan was going to need an alternative way of finding out about the pictures. Knowing how quickly information can travel these days, she took to Facebook, requesting any information possible on the pictures, be it location, photographers, or the models.

“I found 4 sets of medium format negatives… in these plastic sleeves,” she explained in her post. “So obviously, I brought them home and today finally had them scanned in, and holy wow they are beautiful!!”


Meagan attached the clearest scans she could to the post and said that judging from the style of dress in the photographs, she thinks the photos were taken around the 1940s or 50s.

So far, thanks to the post going viral, Meagan has found out the (probable) location of the shots, a beach in California. But she is still eager to find out more about the models – even just their names.

And some more research has shown that the pictures are not negatives at all, but transparancies, also known as reversal film. Unlike negatives, which shows an inverted image before it is developed, transparencies show show the positive image and are often used in slides, for example.

Meagan was also surprised by how many times her pictures have been shared around the world – she was only expecting a couple of hundred at most. She pointed out that the world obviously loves a good mystery just as much as she does.

“I’m dying to find out the story behind these images, especially since there are so many possibilities,” she said. “It’s killing me not to at least know the girls’ names!”

You can check out the photos on Facebook, and if  you want to check on the progress of this photographical investigation, you can follow the Facebook page, or check back here.

And why not share it with your friends? You never know who could be the one to crack the case…

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