I mentioned in an earlier post that I had a little envelope full of negatives that each time I'd scan one would be a surprise. Well, I also have a very large bag of negs that were purchased at an estate sale along with an album that is falling apart. The album is full of wonderful snapshots taken from most likely the late 1890s until the late 1930s. The bag of negs, I thought, were just mostly shots already in the album. Turns out there are other images not in the album. This image is one of them.

Click on image to see it larger.

Not a wonderful snapshot, but it was fun to see the image appear on the screen as the scan appeared. Of course, nothing is as exciting with a photograph as when a print shows up in a tray of developing fluid as you stand in the darkness inhaling those pungent chemicals. A scanner will never beat the mystery exposed in a developing tray. I miss those days.

Like I said, not a great shot, but I love the little stripped socks. This family lived in a rural area north of where I live, most likely near the ranch where my dad grew up. I'd say this shot is from the 1930s and the mother probably got a good deal on the multicolored socks and the little girls wore them with whatever homemade dress they had on. Coordinates were of no importance to country kids.


  1. what a wonderful project...so you're using a scanner on negatives? i've never done that...the results look great!

  2. I've only scanned a few negs. They're all odd sizes so the biggest problem is finding a neg holder they fit in. But so far, so good.

  3. I think for the most part kids, in general, did not coordinate their sox and homemade dresses. I don't remember my mother worrying about all that.

  4. Irene, yes, I don't think rural families in Northern California during the depression cared much about socks and dresses matching. They were happy to have socks. This was not a well off family, but they had more than many in that they had a home and a car.

  5. Two little darlings. Look at the curly hair!

    I know what you mean about the negative holders. There are many sizes of early negatives.

  6. anyjazz,

    Ever figured out how many sizes of negs there were? There doesn't seem to have been any standardization. Rarely do the scanners slide holders actually work.