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While going through some of my wife's old family photo memorabilia

recently I came across a yellowed negative/print envelope. Along with

the Kodak promotional content, there was also the stamped name of my

wife's uncle, Ralph, and a penciled notation, "Winston Churchill and

Daughter". I put the negatives from the envelope in my scanner and,

sure enough, there he was sans cigar, but sporting a homburg and bow

tie. <br>    Something my wife said made me think that the

picture had probably been made by my wife's father or uncle during

Churchill's 1941 visit to the U.S. shortly after Pearl Harbor.

However, there were some aspects of the picture that raised doubts

about that time period. Churchill looked pretty young in the picture,

the clothing styles looked earlier than '41, and the location didn't

look like any place north of the Mason Dixon line in

December.<br>    When I showed the prints to my

brother-in-law last night he said he hadn't seen them before, but he

did know some of the story. He was almost sure that the pictures were

taken by his father, Lester, in the early '30s while he was attending

Georgia Tech. I did a <a


Search</a> on "Churchill/Georgia Tech" and immediately turned up

verification of my brother-in-law's recollection. The picture was

made in 1932 when Churchill was invited by the university to speak at

a parade of Navy and Army ROTC cadets. This was during the ten-year

period when the famous statesman held no office and mostly devoted

himself to speaking and writing. His speech on that day dealt with

his now well-known concern for military preparedness, a topic he would

revisit many times later with FDR.<br>    The negatives were

4.25 x 3.25 inches with numbering on the short side. I don't know

what type of camera produced them. The uncle, Ralph, is now in his

90's and living in Florida; it is possible that he will be able to

verify whether it was he or Lester who took the shots and with what

kind of camera.<div>00A4Dw-20393784.jpg.78bf0531cd14ed95543a8cede796948c.jpg</div>

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That a four in the margins of the first negative means that probably it was in something like a Grafmatic, except that according to Graflex.org, no 3x4 Grafmatics were made. The sheet film holders could take up to 16 sheets of film, but I didn't think that they printed the number on. Still given the location (US) I would bet it was a press camera of some sort.


Cool photos for sure. My favorite quote of Churchill's goes something like, "Representative democracy is the worst kind of government, except for all the rest."

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Can't be 118 or 124 roll film, since the roll films, if exposure numbered, it was always done in the side margin of the film. Plus, in 1932, I don't think anyone was edge numbering roll film. None of my pre-1950's roll film negatives are edge numbered.


If the film is stiff, then it could be some sort of sheet film holder. But it would be very stiff.


Note that the negative is almost certainly on a nitrate base, and that should be taken into consideration in storage. Segregate from non-nitrate negatives, ventilate, keep cool.

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What a lovely find! <p>Yes, it does look like the early 30s. Chartwell, the

home where he lived fairly quietly at the time, is full of photos of him looking

like this. Yes, it's worth contacting the churchill centre, I believe they're at


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