Blog » May 2011

Mystery Monday (5/31)

Another week, another mystery! Here is the entry for this week. Read the guidelines below, then comment and be sure to include a link to a corresponding map. Then, this Friday we will reveal this photos location in the comment section of this post!


Mystery Friday

We knew this would happen eventually. Every week we post a Mystery Monday photo and, to this point, we have been able to unlock each mystery. This week is different.

Why would we not be able to solve our own contest? Well, when we post the weekly blog post we know where it falls on our old county map once used by the pilot, we know what county it’s in, but we can’t guarantee we will be able to identify it. In fact, there have been weeks we didn’t know the photo’s location until one of our followers found it. Perhaps this photo is simply difficult to find because it is no longer standing, and when we try to find it using the satellite view on Google Maps, there isn’t anything that resembles this photo.

Did we make an error in scanning or archiving? While we try our hardest to get every photo right, there are 25 million of them and we are bound to make a mistake. This could be our fault. (For more on how we bring these old rolls of film to your computer screen check out these past posts. – Technology. & The Art of G.I.S. (More below…)


Why do we preserve things?

Why do we preserve things? Anything? There’s the economic imperative against being wasteful of course, so that make sense. But apart from that, why not just keep making new? And what is it about certain things that almost compels us to keep them? Not just keep them, but keep them safe. Because preservation involves protection, protection against destruction, of course, but more than that, protection against any of the works of time. Protection, in short, against change.

So, why do we need things to stay the same? I think, no matter how important and truly moving our memories are, this is about more than memories — I think it’s about understanding. When we experience something we’ve preserved, whether by looking at it, listening to it, walking around inside it, or just holding it in our hands, we’re going back to learn from it anew, and to learn in perhaps a new way. We compare then with now, our selves and our world then and now. Is this thing different in some fundamental way, or does it just seem so at the speeding surface of our lives? Was what we see now, as though for the first time, there all along and we missed it? Or are we different, asking different questions now, seeing things for the first time, though they’ve been there all along? Has it changed, or have we? As we see something old with new eyes, we are rewarded with new insights. Though it may surprise us to find lessons where we only looked for memories we should be glad that we have the sense to protect, to save those things that teach us still.

Jon is Vintage Aerial’s Vice-President for Archives and Projects.


Mystery Monday (5/23)

Another week, another mystery! Here is the entry for this week. Read the guidelines below, then comment and be sure to include a link to a corresponding map. Then, this Friday we will reveal this photos location in the comment section of this post!


Mystery Monday (5/16)

Another week, another mystery! Here is the entry for this week. Read the guidelines below, then comment and be sure to include a link to a corresponding map.


Mystery Monday (5/9 - Revealed)

UPDATE. We have updated this post to reveal the location of our Mystery Monday Photo

This photo is of Sterling High School in Sterling, Illinois, 1974. Map


Mystery Monday (5/2 Revealed)

UPDATE. We have updated this post to reveal the location of our Mystery Monday Photo

Great job everyone! Check out Linda’s comments below for the back story & location.

This photo is from Merced County, California, 1966.