Photographer Discovers an Old Leica and 20K Slides in Late Grandfather’s Belongings


Photographer John Oliver of Film Foto Forever didn’t know his grandfather-in-law, Jackson McIntosh Holliday, was a photographer until it was too late. Jack passed away on October 11th, 2013, and it was only recently, when John’s wife and her family were sorting through her grandfather’s things, that they found an old Leica IIIC in amazing condition and 20k plus slides of his work.

John’s wife’s family know that he’s passionate about photography, and so the Leica and the slides have gone to him, and he immediately set about scanning them in, getting to know his late grandfather-in-law on a deeper level than ever before.

“I had no idea he was an avid photographer,” he writes in a blog post about Jack, “a fact which I deeply regret not knowing while he was still alive.”

The photos below are some of the first John has managed to digitize, revealing a young Jack with his Leica around his neck, and some images he took at a Grand Prix in Watkins Glen NY, in September of 1956:















Most of the photos above were taken with the selfsame Leica that is now in John’s possession, a camera he intends to pass down to his daughter, Vera Jane. Any photos not taken with the Leica were taken on a Rolleicord III and a Kodak 35.

To find out more about Jack’s history or keep up with John as he continues to upload more of the photographs he finds in the massive slide collection, head over to the Film Foto Forever store’s blog by clicking here.

Image credits: Photographs by the late Jackson McIntosh Holliday, courtesy of John Oliver

  • kassim

    The world’s white balance look different back then… hehehe.

  • Josh

    This is great stuff. I always wanted to find a stash of old film and get it developed, like some sort of treasure hunt.

    I remember finding an old 35mm Nikkor in a briefcase in my dads closet when I was a kid (9-10). I was shocked because I had never seen my dad so much as hold a camera, but I fell in love as soon as I saw it. I carried it around with me for years, never even allowed to put film into it. But that didn’t stop me from pretending. I probably framed thousands of pictures with that camera held to my eye, zooming in, composing the perfect shot.

    And then he sold it one day at a yard sale for 200 bucks.

    It sounds funny, since I had never taken a real photo with it, but I was crushed to lose that camera. But it did give me a passion for photography that has never died.

  • smoobooty

    I am working on a similar project; approximately 6,000 slides dating from 1946. My Dad was not a particularly sophisticated photographer but he had an eye for historical landscapes and unique situations. Combing through them means sorting out those to copy and then resorting the culls for those secondary images. It is a huge task but I feel I have a duty to preserve all the images so that future generations can see the originals.

  • Keith Goldstein

    Wonderful! This is an era of auto racing that I loved when I was kid. What a find!

  • Marc Weisberg

    These are fabulous. What a wonderful time capsule to uncover. Bravo!

  • Vin Weathermon

    All 20k slides apparently were from the Grand Prix.

  • Anton Berlin

    Back in the good old days when the spectators were the retaining wall should a drive go off course.