Friday, December 14


(from CigarBoxLife)
  This afternoon I wrote to a man I've never met and offered him a box full of photos of his father. In my introduction to this stranger, I explained, "I collect old photographs that I find at flea markets and attempt to discover their origins." And it struck me that this would be a good way to introduce myself/this blog and talk a little bit about my goals in writing it.

  So, here we are! This is The Only New Thing, I am Russell and that's what I like to do. I collect old stuff (mainly photos), learn as much as I can about them, then try to return them to the place where they have the most historical significance.
  For a while now I've been posting some of these photos to my personal Facebook wall, either asking for my friends' help in unraveling a mystery I can't crack or to share something cool I've learned. Their positive response made me realize that many folks enjoy these random slices of the past just as much as I do. So I created The Only New Thing with the hope of reaching even more people who share that passion.
  From my favorite flea markets to research tips to the actual history of the objects, I'll be writing about every aspect of the process. I'm not only interested in the history presented by the objects but in the history of the objects themselves. I'm not an expert by any means, so I'll also be soliciting advice from readers and sharing mistakes that I make along the way.
  My ultimate goal for The Only New Thing is that it fosters a community of like-minded history nerds. A place where everyone can share things they've discovered or seek help from others when they're having trouble with their research. I want people to get involved and share their stories. So please feel free to write to me and I will post your discoveries as well. In the meantime, I'll start telling some of the stories I've discovered so far.

  The story about the man I wrote to this afternoon will have to wait for a while since it's still unfolding. However, I will say that I'm pretty sure he was the baby in the picture above. You can find some of the back story on the very excellent Permanent Record blog run by Paul Lukas...
Russell's Interview with Permanent Record
Follow up on Permanent Record
And if you still want more, you can browse through the photos on CigarBoxLife.

Coming soon - The curious history of a WWII submarine chaser & the only known copy of the book about it
Follow on Twitter - @theonlynewthing

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