During the early 90’s, the now 67 year old William Nelson discovered an old photo album in the midst of an household clearance in the state of Minnesota. He realized quickly that he stumbled upon a real treasure: a photobook from 1904.
The book contained precisely 240 negatives which were more or less cramped into it. Due to this, it was relatively difficult to match them with the few notes included in the collection.
Nelson furthermore discovered that the photos were quite different from other images of the time. These pictures captured a style which soon would change the way photography was perceived throughout the world. The photographer was capable of creating images which firmly captured a new level of how individuals and objects interacted with each other. These photos were more than tourist’s memories, these were treasures which captured a glimpse of the past.
The journey of the photographers was littered with popular locations from this time. They visited France, Germany, the UK, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands to shoot photos of marvelous locations, including the Linderhof Palace in Bavaria or the coastal cliffs of Étretat in France, which were once painted by the famous painters, Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet.
Nelson dedicated himself to find the creator of those fascinating images to unveil the secret behind this inconspicuous photobook. Unfortunately, the amount of clues contained by the book itself were sparse: the notes were hard to decrypt and no personal information nor the details of the journey were provided. The only names which were mentioned are “Loren” and “Emily” which most likely belonged to two travel companions. This leaves the name of the photographer still in the dark. However, Nelson did not abandon his search for the origins of the book and is continuing to try to unravel the book’s secret.
The whole photo series can be observed here. Take your time and take a glimpse of the history of the early 20th century.