There is a small archival box in my place that has a bunch of old photographs. There are tintypes, ambrotypes and silver prints in the box. I have a healthy pile of View-Master reels that came with a viewer from the 1960’s. There are some stereographs as well as a couple of carte de visites.
I heard, or read, somewhere that we loose memory of the people in our families about 3 generations out. That might explain how these images ended up in antique stores and farmers markets. There is an attempt on one image to record the sitters’ names and family rank. ‘Uncle’ and ‘Aunt’ are written in pen under the seller’s price.
There are many reasons old photographs end up for sale, of course. The stereographs were probably intended as commercial keepsakes and might have been discarded during a spring cleaning. I’m sure we can all relate to the, “why am I keeping this?” moment.
The image of the dog was priced at $.50, probably because the seller didn’t think anyone would buy it. So I bought it.