Photographer Levi Bettweiser from the Rescued Film Project has discovered and processed 31 rolls of film captured by an unknown American solider during the Second World War.
All photos: Levi Bettweiser/Rescued Film Project. They appear here with his permission.
As reported in PetaPixel, Bettweiser found the rolls of film late last year at an auction in Ohio. He knew nothing about who shot the film or who it belonged to, but some of the rolls were labeled with various location names, including "Boston Harbor," "Lucky Strike Beach," and "LaHavre Harbor."
In this 10-minute video, Bettweiser describes the film and the tedious process required to bring them back to life:
As he says in the video, there's no guarantee that an old batch of film — in this case, 31 rolls dating from over 70 years ago — are salvageable. Thus, it's the first roll that makes Bettweiser the most nervous, as it's often indicative of the quality of the entire batch.
"My emotions always run high when I open that tank and pull out negatives that contain images that have never before been seen," Bettweiser told io9. "But with this batch, each time I pulled out a roll I felt a huge degree of reverence and respect for the images."
Indeed, as you can see from these photos, the quality is very good. Here's a small sampling.
"We believe it's important to rescue film to preserve history because we feel that all moments that someone takes a picture of are significant," says Bettweiser. "It doesn't just have to be photos of large historical events. People take pictures of things they want to remember and we want to try and reconnect them with those images."
More photos here.