Pat Hatch's PhotoJournal A blog about photography & other musings…


A Virtual Time Capsule

My sister, Dede, sent me this old envelope of black-and-white negatives that were part of a hoard of family photos she's been going through.  Here are a couple of gems.  This is her when she's obviously about a year old, would have been about the spring of 1946.  So that makes these negatives 67 years old.  We have been finding quite a few of these old photo processing envelopes full of negatives, sometimes they'll even have an address and a date on them.  These had my grandfather Pop's old address:  35 Pickwick Road, Newton, Mass.  So obviously my mom must have been visiting my dad's folks while my dad was overseas during WWII.  What is amazing about these negatives is that they are in perfect condition, probably in the same condition they were in when these photos were taken.  A veritable time capsule these are.

So I scanned these negatives on my Epson V700 photographic scanner, they measure 2 1/2" by 4 1/4". The processing envelope (Gordon H. Rhodes, Est., 1649 Beacon Street, Waban, Mass.) is dated 5-20-46 and the film type is Kodak 616, looks like 14 exposures. The cost of developing the negatives was $1.02, and with a "folio" print, the total was $1.37. The condition is remarkable, no dust or other imperfections found at all. Color slides first appeared around the 1950's and the ones we have are all in good condition but they are covered in dust that can't be physically cleaned. More noticeably, the color has almost uniformly shifted and/or faded. The black-and-white negatives seem to hold up much better. Here is another example from a later batch:

Buddy Hatch & Friend Circa 1946

This is a photo of my dad, probably home on leave or shortly after the war ended. I think it was common then for returning servicemen to wear their uniforms during their daily activities, I assume because of a greater sense of patriotism and pride after having won the war.  My dad was a pilot in the Army Air Corps and flew in the China Burma India (CBI) theater during the war.

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  1. Hi Pat,
    I flya RV6 out of S50 and there is another RV7 pilot here (Dan Tracy, retired Boeing) who’s father flew the hump as well, Chuck Tracy. My connection is that I was a Marine Guard in India, where I meet my wife in 1974. Her family owened tea gardens in Assam. When I went to Assam I was one of the first Americans since WWII that had been in Dibrugarh. I was given a very warm welcome first as the new son-in-law and second as an American. My wife’s grandmother would have dinners for the officers who flew the hump. Most of the old airstrip has gone by the way side but there still is remainders of marshall matting used for fences and other structures.

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