Irish photographer launches search to identify mystery couple
Do YOU recognise this couple? Photographer launches search after finding undeveloped film in a vintage camera from their romantic driving holiday to Switzerland and Italy in the 1950s
- William Fagan, from Dublin, discovered a roll of undeveloped film after buying a vintage camera in 2015
- This summer he developed the snaps, which show a couple’s romantic holiday across Switzerland and Italy
- After some investigation, he believes images were taken in 1951 as they drove around Lake Como
- Photographer is now appealing to the public to help identify the mystery pair by publishing the snaps
An Irish photographer has launched a search to identify mystery couple after developing snaps from their romantic holiday in 1950s Switzerland and Italy.
William Fagan, from Dublin, discovered a roll of undeveloped film when he bought a vintage Leica camera from 1935 in 2015 but set it to one side for five years.
This August, he decided to develop the film and discovered a collection of stunning black-and-white images showing the jaunt of a couple – he believes might be German – across Europe with their adorable sausage dog.
William has now published the photographs on his blog in the hope that someone, perhaps a relative, will recognise their subjects, telling The Irish Times: ‘The camera and the roll of film, they’re physical things – they’re belongings, they’re possessions – but these images actually belong to the people or to their families. I’m thinking the family may know these people and would probably like to have these images.’
William Fagan, from Dublin, has launched a search to identify mystery couple after developing snaps from their romantic holiday in 1950s Switzerland and Italy
The photographer discovered a roll of undeveloped film when he bought a vintage Leica camera from 1935 in 2015 but set it to one side for five years before developing the images
This August, William decided to develop the film and discovered a collection of stunning black-and-white images showing a couple’s jaunt across Europe with their adorable sausage dog
The images show a couple’s romantic jaunt around Lake Como in their convertible BMW, with William believing the car could hold vital clues as to who they are
In August, curiosity got the better of him, William developed the film with guidance from a friend Mella Travers.
He said he initially noticed ‘old people, old cars and old clothes’ before digitising the images for a better look.
In a blog post in September, he wrote: ‘The result was a revelation. An unknown family, a clear location and a feeling of sadness that this talented photographer never saw the results of his labour.’
The 22 photographs show the couple’s romantic jaunt across Europe with their Dachshund and prominently feature the woman while one shows a man.
William was stunned when he discovered the collection of undeveloped images after buying a vintage camera in 2015 and felt determined to identify the subjects
The black-and-white photographs show the couple’s travels across Europe, with the scenery in some of the 22 snaps offering vital clues
Meanwhile a beautiful young woman features prominently in many of the images as she poses next to lakes and enjoys the sunshine during their tour of Europe
William has been able to use clues buried within some of the photographs to identify cities and believes the snaps were taken in 1951, but is yet to find the subjects
He explained: ‘I’m looking at these very personal moments in somebody’s life a long time ago and I’m saying, “I shouldn’t have these, I shouldn’t be looking at these”.’
Clues including street names and scenery have revealed the images were taken as the pair drove a BMW convertible around Lake Como, near the border of Italy and Switzerland.
One of the images shows a steamer on Lake Como that has now helped to date the collection, because it was taken out of service in 1952.
Another of the images shows a steamer on Lake Como that has now helped to date the photograph, because it was taken out of service in 1952
Other photographs show the couple’s travels through the mountains as their journey took them through the snowy peaks of Switzerland and Italy
William said he he hopes publishing the images will mean a relative will recognise their subjects and said he felt it was ‘hard’ for him not to continue in his search
The female subject features in many of the black-and-white snaps, and can often be seen holding the lead for the couple’s puppy
The Irish photographer discovered the roll of undeveloped film when he bought a vintage Leica camera from 1935 in 2015 but set it to one side for five years
The last photograph is a portrait of the woman on a bench in the Italian village of Lenno with her dog.
The woman is wearing jewellery on the third finger of her right hand, rather than her left, which, according to one blog reader, indicates they are ‘a wealthy German couple I think, rather than American’.
Meanwhile William believes the car’s licence plate indicates it was registered in 1948 in Munich in the American occupation zone in Bavaria after the second World War.
He said he hopes publishing the images will mean a relative will recognise their subjects, adding: ‘It’s hard for me not to continue to look for them.’
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