*Because we unfortunately have to specify which war this concerns, these are photos from prior to World War II
Before the Jet Age, traveling from the United States to Europe was a big deal. It usually involved a long voyage via ocean liner or several short airplane hops from New York to Newfoundland to Ireland to London and onward. The continent itself was recovering from the First World War, but the sense of dread of the upcoming World War II must have been in the air.
In the days before digital cameras, smartphones and Instagram, people still took photos to document their experiences…they just didn’t have a way to share with the world. So, in most cases, these snapshots languished in albums tucked away in bookcases, shoeboxes on the top shelf of closets or envelopes in the back of desk drawers, only seen on occasion and rarely by anyone but the possessor.
Several years ago, at the estate sale of Mrs. D.K. Caldwell of my hometown, Tyler, Texas, I came across a small collection of these forgotten photos from pre-War Europe.
Side note: D.K. Caldwell was a businessman who started a small zoo in his backyard in the late 1940s that eventually grew into the present-day Caldwell Zoo.
Some of these photos are pretty amazing, so I’ve decided to share them over the coming weeks to give them the exposure that they never had.
If a note is written on the back of any photo, I’ve included it as the caption.
Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the above photo except that it does depict what the note on the back states. An interesting Wikipedia article on Italian Fascist scouts and youth groups can be found here.
The following two photos, however, are of the Colosseum in Rome. The first seems to depict either archaeologists or grave robbers…your guess is as good as mine.