Bizarre or trending subjects? Catch a break with our curiosity of the week. When Bill Nelson acquired a collection of vintage photos, he didn’t expect to discover the pictures of a mysterious traveller.

Back in 1990, Bill Nelson, a collector of vintage photos, bought a collection of mysterious negatives in Mineapolis, Minnesota. “The family of a deceased person wanted to sell off any excess belongings”, he told us. Without the needed equipment to scan them, Bill chose to keep them safely in a freezer. It wasn’t until the end of the 90s that he bought a scanner and decided to reopen the collection of negatives. Dozens of pictures appeared before his eyes, illustrations of a 1904 journey around Europe.

“Not only are the images well composed and correctly exposed, but they are unlike what one might expect from a casual tourist!” Bill remembers. “The photographer was serious enough to travel with a considerable amount of equipment. The photo of the two gentlemen in London, for example, strongly suggests the use of a tripod. The interior shot of the two women in Marken may have required flash apparatus”. Now published on Flickr, the images are available to the public. “Thus, I might learn the identity of the photographer”, Bill adds. Until now, his only lead has been the discovery of one of those images in archives in Bayreuth, Germany. But the collector has not given up, and even supposes that his negatives are only a sample of a far more impressive collection. “Some great mysteries persist”, he concludes.

Although the photographs take us to a journey to the past, Bill’s Flickr gallery is also filled with information published by curious visitors. A true gold mine.

© Courtesy Bill Nelson