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I have often received FILCA brass cassettes along with older LTM Leicas in my collection. I had noticed that one of them had a roll of black and white film in it when I got it about 5 years ago, but I only got around to processing the film about a month ago. I had no idea what film was in the cassette, what 'ISO' it was and also what age it was. Taking the advice of a friend, I gave the roll 1 hour stand development in diluted D 76 and was pleasantly surprised to find that the roll contained abo

There is some dispute about whether the photos on the roll of film were pre-war or post-war. I am posting here the damaged photo from the same roll of film which clearly shows post-war American cars being used as taxis on Banhofstrasse in Zurich along with the BMW 315, the young woman and the dachshund. Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!   William

My article appeared in the New York Times today. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/05/world/europe/ireland-lost-film-developed.html William  

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1 hour ago, fotomas said:

Hello William,

Yes there is a road similar to the on in the picture. This is how I found it, but I'm afraid my guess with the Stazersee is wrong. The chimney of the house is on the wrong side. First I thought it could possibly heavily altered during the years. But now I found a postcard from 1939 and even there the chimney is on the wrong side. 
But I guess frame 11 is not taken on the road from St. Moritz to Menaggio. I found no area along there which is as flat like the one in frame 11. According to the position of the sun I would think we are looking north in the picture. Maybe this is helpful for further searching.

Frank

I had noticed that chimney. Definitely looking north from that spot. If I get some time later I will have a look myself. The road seems to curve away to the north - west. That weather link I gave you covers weather for many locations in Switzerland.

William

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I have looked at the maps and as far as I can see the most likely locations for Frames 10 and 11 are in the area around Stazersee and Moritzsee. These would have changed considerably over 70 years with the rapid growth and, indeed, replacement of trees and the development of amenities. The couple must have gone on a quick sight seeing tour before hitting the road to Menaggio.

In the high mountain passes there is considerably less change and this composite photo shows where the couple stopped 70 years ago on the Julier Pass just a few kms from La Veduta. The low shed behind is not as long as it used to be, but you can still recognise some of the individual stone blocks on the building today.

 

I have done a few others like these, but have I refrained from publishing them all together in order not to distract from the continuity of the narrative.

William 

 

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Hello William,

I wonder if they might have taken another route to Menaggio. You could also go this way (the red one):

Is there any indication that they choose the northern route? I searched for the position of frame 10 & 11 on both routes. On the northern route I found nearly no landscape that comes close to the in the picture. The mountains are way to steep there. On the other route some areas looked more promising, but I also had no success finding the location. Unfortunately I have no source with the roads as they was in 1950.

Frank

Edited by fotomas
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17 minutes ago, fotomas said:

Hello William,

I wonder if they might have taken another route to Menaggio. You could also go this way (the red one):

Is there any indication that they choose the northern route? I searched for the position of frame 10 & 11 on both routes. On the northern route I found nearly no landscape that comes close to the in the picture. The mountains are way to steep there. On the other route some areas looked more promising, but I also had no success finding the location. Unfortunately I have no source with the roads as they was in 1950.

Frank

The Southern route is 150 kms compared to 96.8 for the Northern route. Going that way would not have made sense. I believe that the woods around those two lakes near to St Moritz would have been a more obvious place to take the photos. The North/North West perspective would also seem to point to an excursion off the route to Menaggio and a short one through the forests in that location would have left the car pointing towards the mountains to the North of St Moritz before resuming the journey.  I believe now that photos 8,9, 10 and 11 belong to the St Moritz area.  The photographer took very few photos on the road and then only on the Julier Pass and on the way into St Moritz where the scenery was spectacular.

Were you able to get any hints from the Swiss meteorological data for 1950? One other thing I have noted in Frame 3 is that the younger woman is still wearing her coat while the older woman has taken hers off, which might also point to a Summer departure. 

William 

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More date and weather views from Fabio Corbella on Macfilos which cross references what is going on here:

Dear William,
I read the latest contributions to Leica forum. In my opinion the Swiss meteo report of 1950 can provide additional information. Saint Gotthard data could be extended to Julier Pass and Lugano data to Como Lake region. You see that the last snow event in Saint Gotthard was on May 26th. Snow, Schneedecke (star in square) remained until June 7th. If you see Lugano data, June 7th is also the best day, no clouds (overexposed pictures), the day of Bellagio trip. So probably:
June 5th, Zurich
June 6th, Bad Ragaz and Saint Moritz
June 7th, Menaggio and Bellagio
June 8th, Lenno and return
Sun inclination method can confirm the month of June, but it is not precise enough to determinate the day of the month.
This website can provide data for June 1950 for Zurich and Como:
http://www.marcomenichelli.it/sole.asp
You see there are not so big changes over the month days (1 degree or less).
 

My response:

Thanks Fabio. I love that term ‘schneedecke’ as it captures perfectly what we can see in some of the photos. I’ll ‘buy’ that week as it contained my birthday. I won’t say what age I was, but you can take it that I was very young at that time. I had noted that the min and max temperatures did not vary that much during that period. As for the sun inclination it might have been affected by whether the car was on perfectly flat terrain or not. My own sense, based on Frame 11, is that it might have been on a slight downward slope which could have altered the apparent angle of the sun. I am tending towards the view that Frames 10 and 11 were taken in the wooded areas around Stazersee and St Moritzersee just outside of St Moritz, before the couple headed on their journey to Menaggio. We are achieving remarkable. Finally, as regards Lenno, somebody has said that there was diffuse lighting there, but to me this looks like evening light and the woman was wearing the same dress as she wore in Bellagio. Also if you look at the route from Menaggio back to Zurich, it is a long run around the mountains and across lakes to go back to Zurich that way. There is a much more direct route just behind Menaggio veering North West. That is why I concluded that the trip to Lenno was an evening or late afternoon trip. I hope this makes sense.

I am going to copy your response onto the Leica Forum where there is also some great detective work going on.

William

PS Assuming your dates are broadly correct, I might add that if the couple stayed in St Moritz, then the trip to Bellagio was 8th of June and not the 7th, but we won’t fight over a day over 70 years later. They clearly went to Bellagio the day after they arrived in Menaggio as the clock indicates 12.30-35 and they seem to have had lunch just afterwards.

Edited by willeica
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