Thursday, April 26, 2012

Turn it over! There's something on the back! April 2012

Very often, notations on the reverse of these found photographs are obscure or too brief or illegible. Most often there is nothing at all.

But now and then there is a message from the past that sparkles.

Back in March of 2009 LOST GALLERY had a full page of photographs and their very interesting reverse sides. There have been many new additions to the collection since then.

Here is a new group of those photographs with mysterious, funny and sometimes puzzling reverse sides; tiny bits of history, reaching out to us over the decades and sometimes centuries.


Girl (reverse)

On reverse:
P. S. Hope this
helps you to
Remember me.

Young girl and doll

Small child and doll

On reverse:
Dear Aunt Mary Lou(?)
Me and Jab are
dirty but dont you
think we look cute
The man tried to make me
smile but I wouldn't do it.
You and Uncle Grady
be sure and come this
week and next time you
get sick be sure and
telephone my mama and
we will come.
Well I close
your loving niece
Matte Dale
(upside down)
Will send picture of (?)
I think she's
awful pretty

In a barrel

In a barrel

On Reverse
Mrs Kidd &
Mary Lou

(The real question is: How did they get IN there?)

Good catch!

Good catch!

On Reverse
Mary Lou &

Dad's girl

"One of Dad's
Popa's girlfriend before
he married Nannie-
waiting for Esther to
grow up. He decided
at when Nannie was 13
that he wanted to
marry her.”

The Gang Reverse

On the reverse it seems to say:
(Something) and family
Aprils hiding
Joe crying.

Thanks for everything

Reverse of previous print

Thanks for
everything. Hope
to see you this
summer. I'm sure
I will.
Best of Luck
and watch out
for the Girls

Dee (circa 1965)


Mr. Bell
To the
Sexiest teacher
in school whom
I like very well
Be good and please
don't ever show this
picture to anyone in school
I've enjoyed writing to you
this summer but you can't
let (your wife) find out! Ha! Ha!
That's all I can say, but at
least ya know I luvs ya!
Lov ya always

Out in back.



In the black two-piece

Hair Do

Hair do

Angel in Disguise


Angel in Disguise

Two women in Berlin with reverse

Klara Koh
Hannah Solomon
Berlin in Mai

Woman on bridge

Woman on bridge

This Lady came out to see
us when camped at Merry
Her husband comes to see
us most every day and
takes these little pictures
They are nice people.

Family of six
Family of six

On reverse:
Mrs. N. A. Wilson
Mrs Sullnger (or Sullingen)
white white

The most popular photographs most popular, Family Group,
An album of the most requested photographs in the Lost Gallery.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half
You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you!
completely unaware of the photographer
This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

Or try out the NEW

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
Penny Tales
Square America
Tattered and Lost Vernacular Photography
The best FOUND PHOTOGRAPH sites on the web.
And for postcards try

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one.
It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned.
Here are a few.
You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story, What do you see?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"


  1. Where to even begin? The 1968 woman with the ghostly makeup? The prom girl posed next to the swing set? Really? Is that the best place they could find to shoot that? Okay, the creepiest shot in a long time is the one to Mr. Bell. That's unbelievable. Really good examples.

  2. I certainly enjoyed every last one of these. In addition to the descriptions, the backdrops that people choose for photos are often interesting and occasionally puzzling. Thanks for this treat.

  3. Thanks!. Yes, those square format color photographs come from a very unusual set of about 80. These are the only five with something on the back. I began posting the set in 2008, cautiously at first because these are not as old as some that I normally post. I was concerned that there might be someone still living that would have objections. But the set has been visited thousands of times now and a few additional bits of information have collected, including a family tree for Mister “Bell” and the location of the school seen in the background of the one signed “Horse”.

    The set is HERE

  4. Thanks Christine H. I am glad you enjoyed them. Amateur photographers rarely think about the background, I guess. Even the studio shots are sometimes a little awkward.

  5. I figured you would like that one. What a story, huh?



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