1200 Rolls of Unprocessed Film Found, Shot by One 1950s Photographer

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About a year ago, Levi Bettwieser of the Rescued Film Project won about 20 auctions for the undeveloped work of a 1950s photographer. What he received was 66 bundles of film containing a staggering 1,200 unprocessed rolls.

All Bettwieser knows about the photographer is that his name was Paul and that he was a steel worker. He was also meticulous about documenting his photography: the rolls are labeled by camera used, light modifiers, details about the photos, and other hand-scribbled notes (some legible, others not so much).



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It took 10 volunteers 6 hours to unpack and catalog 22 of the 66 bundles.

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Due to the sheer quantity of rolls and photos, Bettwieser is turning to crowdfunding to try and have this photographer’s work unpacked, documented, processed, and shared with the world after over half a century.

“I’m asking for your help because this is way more film than I can process myself,” Bettwieser writes. “This film was shot in the 1950s, and every day it goes unprocessed, it deteriorates a little more.”

Here are some photos from one roll that was developed and scanned:

Paul 1 002

Paul 1 004

Paul 1 005

Paul 1 006

Paul 1 007

Paul 1 008

Here’s a short 3-minute video in which Bettwieser talks about this find and project:

Visit the Indiegogo campaign page if you’re interested in supporting this effort. Bettwieser is the same guy who received worldwide attention last year after finding, processing, and sharing 31 rolls of undeveloped film shot by a soldier during World War II.