Holiday Sale! Secret Bundle + 30% Off

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
News & Insight

A Grandson’s Quest to Track Down the Mystery Locations in ‘Grandpa’s Photos’

By Hanssie on August 17th 2014

Every time I visit my Grandpa in the nursing home, I wonder about his life. 95 years of stories to tell, though, most of those memories are gone, lost in the recesses of his mind. A mind that scrambles to remember who I am, and in the last year, has failed to recall correctly at all. At times, he’ll talk about his brother and an adventure he went on with Grandma, but ask him for more information, and he can’t remember that he even had a brother. Though, he doesn’t remember me, I remember the stories of adventures that were told when we were all far younger than we are today.

Not too sure where this photo is but the best guess on grandpas-photos.com is Piazza Cisterna in San Gimignano, Italy. I’m hoping to find this one on my trip.

Not too sure where this photo is but the best guess on grandpas-photos.com is Piazza Cisterna in San Gimignano, Italy. I’m hoping to find this one on my trip.

A few years ago, Dave Tomkins found a box of vintage photographs while cleaning out his Grandfather’s house. Grandfather, Stephen Clarke, was a buyer for a jewelry franchise in Australia. Sometimes his job required him to travel around the world and Grandpa would take his Voightlander camera to document these trips. Upon returning home, he would show his family his photographs via slideshow and then put the slides in a box in a cupboard – the box that Dave found. Dave scanned some of the slides and would take the photos to the 24 hour care facility where his Grandpa lived and ask him about the photographs, hoping to hear about another adventure in a far off place in the hopes of getting Grandpa’s mind off of his current situation. Unfortunately, Grandpa couldn’t remember where they were taken.

[REWIND: PHOTOGRAPHING VINTAGE TRAINS | STEP BACK IN TIME WITH MATTHEW MALKIEWICZ]

Dave decided to build a website to see if people online could identify where some of the photos were taken and to prove to his Grandfather, that his photos were really good.

He never saw himself as a great Photographer. With everyone’s help I’m hoping to prove that wrong.

This is at New York’s JFK Airport. The Eero Saarinen building. Taken from a pedestrian walkway. Many people on Grandpa’s Photos helped find this one.This is at New York’s JFK Airport. The Eero Saarinen building. Taken from a pedestrian walkway. Many people on Grandpa’s Photos helped find this one.

This is at New York’s JFK Airport. The Eero Saarinen building. Taken from a pedestrian walkway. Many people on Grandpa’s Photos helped find this one.This is at New York’s JFK Airport. The Eero Saarinen building. Taken from a pedestrian walkway. Many people on Grandpa’s Photos helped find this one.

Taken in the San Paulo area, Venice, Italy. It is now a Hard Rock Cafe.

Taken in the San Paulo area, Venice, Italy. It is now a Hard Rock Cafe.

The 25 de Abril bridge in Lisbon, Portugal. At the time it may have been called Salazar's Bridge.

The 25 de Abril bridge in Lisbon, Portugal. At the time it may have been called Salazar’s Bridge.

Sadly, before he finished the website, Dave’s Grandpa passed away. Dave committed then to finish the site and prove, even though his Grandpa is no longer here, that Grandpa was a great photographer. Dave quit his job at an ad agency and is fully devoting himself to the website, Grandpa’s Photos. The site showcases the best 50 photos from the box of slides, with the hopes of adding 50 more. About 90% of the photos have been identified thanks to people all over the world who have helped solve the mysteries. Now, Dave is going to visit the places in Grandpa’s Photos, take the same photos and “hopefully create some Grandpa–worthy stories” and honor his Grandfather’s legacy of a life well lived.

Taken from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.

Taken from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.

gp_10

 

Pretty certain this is Florence, Italy thanks to multiple comments from people on grandpas-photos.com

Pretty certain this is Florence, Italy thanks to multiple comments from people on grandpas-photos.com

Not 100% sure where this was taken. I’m guessing Switzerland and it’s been suggested on Grandpa’s-photos.com that this is somewhere along the Axenstrasse - a river in Switzerland

Not 100% sure where this was taken. I’m guessing Switzerland and it’s been suggested on Grandpa’s-photos.com that this is somewhere along the Axenstrasse – a river in Switzerland

Interlaken West train station in Switzerland.

Interlaken West train station in Switzerland.

Found by a bunch of people on grandpas-phots.com as Bern, Switzerland.

Found by a bunch of people on grandpas-phots.com as Bern, Switzerland.

You can see Grandpa’s Photos on the website here.

CREDITS: All photographs by Stephen Clarke are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[Via Design Taxi/additional info via PetaPixel]

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Tyler Friesen

    Great find!

    | |
  2. Greg Faulkner

    There is something really interesting about looking through old photos

    | |
  3. Matthew Saville

    Not a great photographer? Pffftttt, it’s always the humble ones that turn out to be amazing in the end… This is a fine collection of images! This really inspires me to start going through my own grandfathers slides… Photography is such a powerful connection for generations…

    | |
  4. Gonzalo Broto

    Nice pictures for a touching story!

    | |
  5. Ben Perrin

    Great project. My nan is now 101 years old and fortunately she had someone document part of her life in a book which has been an eye opener for the rest of the family and a permanent tribute to who she is. This is a great thing to do, not just for the memory and honour of this guy’s grandfather but for the entire extended family. Thanks for the share!

    | |
  6. Rich Taylor

    Great stuff in here. This is what its all about, the memories are timeless!

    | |
  7. Ralph Hightower

    Great story. Photography freezes moments in time and place.

    | |
  8. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story. Photography is magical to document periods and great momentos of our lives. Cheers

    | |