Martijn van Oers and the mystery of 70-year-old photographs

As you probably already know, I’m a big fan of antique photographs. It’s one of my biggest dreams to discover an old, not developed film one day and to see photographs from a past era, pictures nobody has ever seen before. That’s been one of my childhood fantasies. And that’s why I’m regularly searching flea markets and keep looking for old cameras and reels of film as well. So far, unfortunately, my search has been rather unsuccessful. Once in Amsterdam I actually discovered an old reel of film on a street flea market. However, as I wanted to develop it with a friend, it turned out that the reel was so damaged it couldn’t be used anymore. But I won’t give up my search and in the meantime I’m also happy about everyone who’s been more successful.

Such as Martijn van Oers, for instance. On boredpanda he explains how he bought an old Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520 camera and found a film inside that hadn’t been developed. According to Martijn van Oers, the camera is estimated to be from 1929. The film in it, he estimates, is from an era between the 1940s and 1970s. He was lucky enough to know somebody who specializes in film material and film development. In spite of minimal chances of saving the pictures, both succeeded and the result is really like my dream come true.

The pictures in the reel may have been taken about 70 years ago. Van Oers posted them on his Facebook page and by chance one of his friends on Facebook recognized certain similarities between one of the photos and the French town of Biarritz. So one of the mysteries about the photos could be solved. The camera and its last owner at least spent some time in Biarritz. Martijn van Oers writes that he’d like to find out more about the characters in the pictures and that he wants to hand them over to the descendants of the owner as soon as he finds them.

On his Instagram account he calls the community to contact him as soon as they recognize something in the pictures.

I’m really thrilled about what will happen and hope that Martijn van Oers will be able to solve the mystery about the photos.


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