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Time traveller spotted in 40s photo
April 21, 2010 2:01 AM   Subscribe

The Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in Nov. 1940. But some point at the chap on the right of this photo, and ask - what era did he come from? With his snazzy hooded sweater, sunglasses, stamped t-shirt and compact camera, he looks like he doesn't fit somehow.... An error level analysis suggests that it's not Photoshopped, but Forgetomori goes through the image in detail, pointing out how nothing he's wearing is technically out of time.
posted by radioedit (181 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's also the hair that looked very modern.
posted by of strange foe at 2:07 AM on April 21, 2010


Everything looks basically modern except for the cars - and the hats.

When did men stop wearing hats? And why?
posted by three blind mice at 2:16 AM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I disagree strongly with the assertion that those sunglasses look modern. They have a particular almost-square shape that to me is very strongly associated with the 40s/50s aesthetic. My Google Image-fu (and ability to remember relevant names) isn't helping me come up with something terribly relevant to illustrate my point, so I'll just link to this image of Allen Ginsberg wearing glasses in a vaguely similar style, from probably a tad later.

I'm sure someone with more historical or sartorial knowledge can do better than I. But those glasses aren't modern, and only look it insofar as the retro-50s thing is 'in' (is it?)
posted by Dysk at 2:32 AM on April 21, 2010


I'm all for time travel, but somehow I doubt this is it.
posted by The Potate at 2:34 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Error level analysis is like those counterfeit money detecting pens... it would be enough to mention that the photo comes from the archives of a museum, in establishing confidence in its authenticity.

(You know those pens work on toilet paper right?)
posted by danny the boy at 2:42 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Somebody's going to complain about this, so I guess it might as well be me: that error level analysis thing is not reliable. Details in these previous threads.

I hope this doesn't become the polygraph test of the 21st century.
posted by equalpants at 2:43 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Obviously the cute little cupcake with the Myrna Loy haircut who is more interested in Futureboy than whatever is happening with the South Fork Bridge is Futureboy's mother, and he's there to ensure she falls for his nerdy father and not Biff. If you look closely at his left hand you can see it's starting to fade...
posted by chavenet at 2:48 AM on April 21, 2010 [22 favorites]


Yes, ELA would seem to me to be a high specificity but quite probably low sensitivity test. In other words, if you take a large collection of photos and do an ELA, and look at those that fail they'll almost all be photoshopped. But this does not mean that those that fail constitute the majority of photoshopped images, or that passing an ELA gives much more than the slightest indication it is genuine. In particular, it seems to me that an ELA is relatively easily circumvented by avoiding using JPEG until after you're done 'shopping.
posted by edd at 3:01 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


He is particularly unkempt. I mean, definitely not a 'Dapper Dan' man, if you know what I mean. And what the hell is he looking at? Other than these two things I see nothing remarkable about the guy, it took me a long moment to even notice him.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:04 AM on April 21, 2010


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?

Yes! It is very sad. Hats have so much sartorial potential.
posted by WalterMitty at 3:05 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What? Don't tell me nobody saw the dude in the background!
posted by rubber duck at 3:21 AM on April 21, 2010 [48 favorites]


Danny the boy - (You know those pens work on toilet paper right?)

When you say work, do you mean to say that they are effective at identifying counterfeit toilet paper? How many times has this come up for you?
posted by cyphill at 3:21 AM on April 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Even Kirk and Spock were smart enough to know that the first thing you do when time traveling is to steal some period clothes from a clothesline.
posted by digsrus at 3:26 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Good thing it wasn't this guy in the photo.
posted by NoMich at 3:27 AM on April 21, 2010


Oy, i probably shouldn't get started on ELA. *sigh*.
Yes, ELA would seem to me to be a high specificity but quite probably low sensitivity test. In other words, if you take a large collection of photos and do an ELA, and look at those that fail they'll almost all be photoshopped.
Well, the first problem with that statement is that ELA doesn't give you a yes/no answer. It gives you an image, which someone then has to interpret. So it's actually highly subjective.

The second thing is that a lot of non-photoshopped images will "fail" if by "fail" we mean show lots of bright areas on the image. Especially images that have never been touched or compressed much.

Some examples from the last thread this screen grab (which I did in response to this comment which took a photoshopped Google search and ran it through ELA -- the results are nearly identical)

Another example, A regular photograph run through ELA. It's right off the camera with no modification except saving to JPG and being resized by flickr.

So my view is that -- best case -- there could be a slight positive correlation between being shopped and showing up in ELA over a large batch of photos, but, I would actually bet that there's no, or even a negative correlation as images that come right off the camera will probably have lots of different levels of 'compressibility' simply because of the different textures in the image.

---

Also, those sunglasses don't actually look very modern at all, they look almost like goggles. Also, this was on boing boing a week ago. (Which I hardly ever read (honest!) but happened to check it out that day)
posted by delmoi at 3:27 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What? Don't tell me nobody saw the dude in the background!

Which was totally not 'shopped! (except for the red ring, according to ELA)
posted by delmoi at 3:30 AM on April 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. I have read at least three blogs over the last few days that feature the photo, with a caption that reads 'ZOMG! Time traveller dude caught on camera' or whatever, without the debunking links or umm any analysis whatsoever.
posted by Monkeymoo at 3:30 AM on April 21, 2010


Brother Dysk, I think youre looking for safety goggles... or am I the only one who sees the sunglasses as having leather flaps on the sides?
posted by dabitch at 3:44 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love how much like a time traveller this guy looks though.
posted by doublehappy at 3:50 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?
I've always heard that it had something to do with JFK's hatlessness at his inauguration (but don't have time right now to search for credible cites)
posted by bunglin jones at 3:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


dabitch, if I do, I don't mean ones with that perfectly circular lens shape.
posted by Dysk at 3:55 AM on April 21, 2010


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?
January 20, 1961

posted by MtDewd at 3:59 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


...late again
posted by MtDewd at 4:00 AM on April 21, 2010


three blind mice When did men stop wearing hats? And why?

Some of us didn't.

I wear a leather or suede Aussie bush hat most days, polyester mesh bush hat when I'm working in the garden, and a black wool trilby (or is it a fedora?) whenever someone forces me to wear a suit.

Actually, I was running late this morning, so it's the first time in a month or so I've not wearing one...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:11 AM on April 21, 2010


I'd guess that time was running out for hats anyway.

It was about that time (in the UK at least) that having a tan suddenly suggested you had money for posh holidays instead of being a sign that you were a lowly labourer. That's certainly the reason I've always assumed women stopped wearing hats...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:15 AM on April 21, 2010


Maybe he was just a 40's era weirdo.
posted by chillmost at 4:23 AM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?

Young men still wear hats -- baseball caps, specifically. Not as classy as fedoras, though, I agree.
posted by spoobnooble at 4:27 AM on April 21, 2010


Hats are slowly coming back for young people, which is awful and excellent. Excellent since I don't get as many sideways glances in my Akubra (broad-brimmed hats are a must for wearing spectacles in the rain), awful because I get associated with a social tribe that's taken to hat-wearing to which I do not belong in the slightest.

Hats are awesome, though, and them making a more general comeback would stop the frustrating associations. Go get hats, people!
posted by Dysk at 4:32 AM on April 21, 2010


People stopped wearing hats at roughly the same time they stopped being polite. My theory, anyway.
posted by maxwelton at 4:35 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm voting for 40s era weirdo coupled with a 1990-2010 fashion of old-timey styles (i.e. clunky glasses) that make him look modern when it's really us that look anachronistic.

He's holding a period camera. Why disguise your tricorder but not yourself?

That said, I'd like to see the other photos in this series to see if he's in any others. And I guess I'll read the debunking.
posted by DU at 4:35 AM on April 21, 2010


I've seen tons of American film "oldies" and this guy totally looks like a fit. I think a lot of people look "modern" in many ways, particularly the "crazy" youth in these films.
posted by juiceCake at 4:35 AM on April 21, 2010


So to defeat an error level analysis you photoshop then print then rescan?
posted by kalessin at 4:41 AM on April 21, 2010


kalessin, you could, though you could just resample or resize, then resave.
posted by Dysk at 4:47 AM on April 21, 2010


Oh, there is no real "series" of photos. There are only two from that event and he's only in one of them. I thought I saw him on a hockey team in a pic from 4 years previously, but it's really hard to base it on just the hair and face shape...

As for the ELA, the debunker seems pretty level-headed:
Given the source, we would assume the photo is authentic, and correctly dated to c.1940. Indeed, an Error Level Analysis suggests the image was not digitally tampered with, or at least that if it was, the author was smart enough to normalize the error across the whole thing. It’s a good job, if it was a job. And again, given the source, we would assume it was not a job.
posted by DU at 4:49 AM on April 21, 2010


I thought that men stopped wearing hats because they started wearing it longer and stopped putting so much grease in their hair and started washing it every day. You were supposed to take off your hat indoors and if you don't have your hair matted down it sticks up when you take off the hat.
posted by octothorpe at 4:49 AM on April 21, 2010


I saw this earlier and found nothing out of place, despite what BoingBoing might think. Yawn.

And yes, JFK is usually credited/blamed with making men's hats unpopular.
posted by pmurray63 at 4:50 AM on April 21, 2010


Forgetomori goes through the image in detail, pointing out how nothing he's wearing is technically out of time.

Every time traveler worth their chronobadge knows that you've got to put together a suitably period outfit before you jump.
posted by fairmettle at 4:56 AM on April 21, 2010


I'd like to see the other photos in this series to see if he's in any others.
Another photo of Hipster “Time Traveller” found.
posted by tellurian at 5:04 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


A plate of beans can travel through time, also. About a day, usually. And then we're all, OMG WHERE DID THAT COME FROM. The past, baby, the past.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:05 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think Forgetomori has missed an important point here.

Mr Photo is CLEARLY wearing a hoodie.
posted by citands at 5:06 AM on April 21, 2010


Dude, if I'm going to time travel, I'm going to go back to an event a Hell of a lot more rad than a bridge opening.
posted by bwg at 5:07 AM on April 21, 2010 [13 favorites]


He does stand out, but I think it's because he's young and maybe a little stylish, one of the early adopters of the 1940's sunglasses fashion trend. The rest of his clothes are different, but I think that's probably due to the older average age of the crowd around him.

Put him in a group of his peers at the time and they probably look pretty similar.
posted by empyrean at 5:13 AM on April 21, 2010


That second photo is great. Although the point of seeing him in more photos is to gather more data, which isn't really available from that one. Other than the fact that it probably isn't a 'shop.

But at least it got me to explore the rest of the blog, which seems pretty awesome.
posted by DU at 5:13 AM on April 21, 2010


I have read at least three blogs over the last few days that feature the photo, with a caption that reads 'ZOMG! Time traveller dude caught on camera' or whatever, without the debunking links or umm any analysis whatsoever.

Too bad it wasn't a picture of Jesus! South Fork would become the tourist mecca for thousands who would want to stand where Jesus stood and see what Jesus saw. The possibilities for schlocky tchatchkes would be very exciting for Canadian retailers as well as those who collect miniature bridges. Not to mention the amateur theatrics that would spring up to reenact the glorious moment. Come to think of it, maybe someone should drop a hint to the Ministry of Tourism?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:15 AM on April 21, 2010


This puts me in mind of another photo investigation of an old event concerning a bridge. Something about who was there and what they saw on the day. Now what was that? Could he be a Nazi?
posted by tellurian at 5:17 AM on April 21, 2010


JFK had nothing to do with the trend away from men wearing hats. And he DID wear one at his inauguration, just not while giving his address.
posted by cerebus19 at 5:27 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


WRT the idea that this guy is a time traveller: Why has nobody brought up the obvious fact that none of the other people in the photo seem the least bit taken aback by his presence? I mean, if his hatlessness, sunglasses, and camera were really anachronistic, wouldn't you think the people standing next to him would look at least a little perplexed? Yet they don't. Surely that's the best argument for his appearance not being unusual for the time, no?
posted by cerebus19 at 5:31 AM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


"...investigation of an old event concerning a bridge."
Tallahatchie River bridge?
posted by gregoreo at 5:37 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?

It was probably due in the main to the general trend towards a more informal way of dressing, and accelerated by the example of famous people like JFK and Elvis who didn't wear hats because it didn't suit their style. I don't think my dad (born 1938) has ever really been a hat wearer, except for ball caps, because he would have been a part of that younger generation who came of age just as hats were disappearing. Hats for women were in style a little longer. When my mother (also born 1938) was a young woman, she wore a hat and gloves when she went anywhere, even though she didn't like hats and didn't feel they ever suited her, because that was just what you did. Fashion used to be so much more uniform and rigid, unlike now when pretty much anything goes. Mum said she was so happy when hats went out. Church was the last bastion of women wearing hats, but even there the younger women stopped wearing them by about 1970, even though some of the older women like my grandmother (born 1905) continued wearing hats to the end of their days.
posted by orange swan at 5:42 AM on April 21, 2010


Mr Photo is CLEARLY wearing a hoodie.

Nope. Collar. Unless that was irony, in which case I apologize.
posted by hanoixan at 5:43 AM on April 21, 2010


I mean, if his hatlessness, sunglasses, and camera were really anachronistic, wouldn't you think the people standing next to him would look at least a little perplexed?

I was going to make this exact point, but then reconsidered. Imagine it's 2010 and we are at a mall opening. A guy shows up in a silver jumpsuit, wearing deelyboppers and holding a flashing whatsit. Yes, we are going to look at him. But not the whole time. It will certainly be possible to take a photograph of the scene where nobody is looking at him. I mean sure, he's weird, but THERE'S THE MAYOR HOLDING A HUGE SCISSORS!!!
posted by DU at 5:44 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


He's holding a period camera. Why disguise your tricorder but not yourself?

Clearly, he's from 3050 or so, where that hairstyle is quite popular. Records were heavily destroyed during the wars of 2137-2302, and further purged during the Plutocracy about a century later, so the research team had to make some guesses about what people would wear. They got the camera-cover about right, but some of the gear varied by a few decades. They felt really bad about it later, especially the shoes, that got the Traveler into some trouble.

Dude, if I'm going to time travel, I'm going to go back to an event a Hell of a lot more rad than a bridge opening.

If you knew what that bridge opening symbolized to the people of 3050 -- well, let's just say you wouldn't find it surprising.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:49 AM on April 21, 2010 [26 favorites]


The real horror here is that it's the hipsters who developed time travel. Lawrence Welk is a dead man. Or he's going to be saved from death by stolen 29th century technology for the kitsch value or something... hell, I dunno, I'm not a hipster.
posted by AugieAugustus at 5:57 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?

I think it was probably around the point when men started to shower regularly.

Also, there's a precedent for Time Traveler hair.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:01 AM on April 21, 2010


What kind of name is "The Doctor" anyway?
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 AM on April 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


Actually, following that 'John Wihksne Collection' lead, it could be that that it's a picture of John himself. Check these out from the same album [1] • Caption: Left to Right: John Wihksne, Karen Leggat, Cecil Cordick, Thomas Wihksne. [2] • No Caption [3] • Caption: Logs for Braylorne Mines, Albert on the logs and John in the foreground 1944.
Natty dresser, same haircut but seems to have less of a receding hairline, no sunglasses, so I could be mistaken.
posted by tellurian at 6:15 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


My take as someone who lived through the era (hatlessness as the New Look) JFK was boyish-looking without his hat and boyishness was the new trend. Suddenly men who wore hats looked old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy. The young, unfettered look of hatlessness took off for the under 30's while the old guys with their receding hairlines clung on to their head coverings. By the mid-60's the only young guys wearing hats were cowboys or wannabe cowboys because being a cowboy never went out of fashion.

The same thing had happened with full face beards in the 20's. Prior to that, Victorians and Edwardians wore their beards proudly but then suddenly the young were going beardless and yelling "Beaver" at the bewhiskered. It took a while for the oldies to give up their look and some never did but after WWI anyone with a full set of facial hair looked ridiculously old-fashioned.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:16 AM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


When did men stop wearing hats?

Around the early 1960s, men's heads suddenly and inexplicably grew bone, skin and hair on top, whereas previously their brains had been exposed, due to the big hole at the tops of their heads. Almost overnight, there was no more need for protective headgear. This was the inspiration, of course, for JFK's now-famous quote, delivered at his inauguration, "ask not what your headgear can do to you, but what you can do to your headgear", which was spontaneously answered by the throng in attendance, "throw it away!" This quickly evolved into one of the most popular catchphrases of the time, "throw your hat away! just like JFK!", often sung to the tune of "See the USA, in your Chevrolet!"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:24 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


I mean sure, he's weird, but THERE'S THE MAYOR HOLDING A HUGE SCISSORS!!!

So the mayor is the REAL Time Traveler!
posted by grubi at 6:25 AM on April 21, 2010


Just a question, but couldn't somebody make a fake in meatspace, then scan it and get a "normal" ELA?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:25 AM on April 21, 2010


but after WWI anyone with a full set of facial hair looked ridiculously old-fashioned.

HEY NOW
posted by grubi at 6:26 AM on April 21, 2010


same haircut but seems to have less of a receding hairline,

John seems to have helmet hair in wave, while Mr Time has flyaway hair. Not to mention a mole that John doesn't seem to have. And sticky-out ears.
posted by DU at 6:29 AM on April 21, 2010


tellurian that's good. And a commenter just before the one that found the Wihksne collection photo found this picture which shows a pretty similar outfit (guy on the right) as the 'traveler'. Pretty clearly there's nothing there out of place or inexplicable.
posted by cashman at 6:29 AM on April 21, 2010


Wow, thanks for the spoiler.

This guy will never be as good as Matt Smith.
posted by Legomancer at 6:29 AM on April 21, 2010


Just because I couldn't resist it: actual use of the phrase "counterfeit toilet paper" on a news story.
posted by Iosephus at 6:31 AM on April 21, 2010


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?

Unlike the rest of the menswear industry, the hat industry resisted and actively ridiculed the "peacock revolution" of the late 60s and early 70s. Menswear changed to a much faster cycle time, effectively increasing sales, while hats became synomonous with conformity and conservatism.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:32 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?
I've always heard that it had something to do with JFK's hatlessness at his inauguration (but don't have time right now to search for credible cites)
posted by bunglin jones at 6:52 AM on April 21 [1 favorite +] [!]


JFK and hats refutation (warning Snopes and a crapload of popups).

more JFK hat foolishness - apparently he just didn't like them, but people kept sending him hats to wear
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:35 AM on April 21, 2010


...and further purged during the Plutocracy about a century later...

I knew taking away Pluto's planetdom was a bad idea.
posted by Evilspork at 6:36 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I found this article a few days ago. Let me recreate the circumstances.

"Boy, that was a whole lot of episode of Doctor Who in a row. Let's see what's on the intern...oh COME on!"
posted by griphus at 6:36 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hats and beards, now that they are no longer part of the mainstream office look, are now signifier of being "outside" said office world.
posted by The Whelk at 6:40 AM on April 21, 2010


Suit coats are probably going to follow hats pretty soon. Hard leather shoes would be a good follower, but probably won't, although if more men noticed they sound like they are wearing high heels when walking on tile, they might reconsider...
posted by DU at 6:44 AM on April 21, 2010


I've actually noticed an increase in formality among the young professionals, which I'm taking as a "gottakeepthisjobgottskeepthisjoblookPRETTY!" attitude.
posted by The Whelk at 6:47 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hats and beards, now that they are no longer part of the mainstream office look, are now signifier of being "outside" said office world.

Hats and beards are very much part of the usually very conservative office fashion in Washington since the Obama administration took over.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:48 AM on April 21, 2010


Hats are awesome, though, and them making a more general comeback would stop the frustrating associations. Go get hats, people!

Quoted for truth.

I love how this thread has that parallel tangent about hats! I love hats! I even like the way it sounds. HATS HATS HATS

posted by WalterMitty at 6:49 AM on April 21, 2010


although if more men noticed they sound like they are wearing high heels when walking on tile, they might reconsider...

Feature, not bug. I like hearing my Kenneth Cole fuck-off shoes tap-tap-tap on marble. It's fun to have foley.
posted by The Whelk at 6:49 AM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]



I love how this thread has that parallel tangent about hats! I love hats! I even like the way it sounds. HATS HATS HATS

Dear Internet: Inspired by this , what the hell kind of hat would look good on my misshapen melon?
posted by The Whelk at 6:53 AM on April 21, 2010


1940, not 1840.

Saved him from having to grow mutton-chop sideburns.
posted by bwg at 6:53 AM on April 21, 2010


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?

You could turn this around and ask: why did men ever wear hats? Or, indeed, why did anyone? Look at any old (pre-war) photo of people outdoors. Chances are, every single one of them is hatted, including children. Post-war, the hats started to come off. I'm willing to guess that hat-wearing dwindled in the US before other countries, but it had nothing to do with JFK.

The main reason people went around wearing stuff on their heads is that regular washing of hair wasn't all that common back then, and people needed something to cover up the fact that their hair was dirty and smelled bad. Stuff that we'd recognise as contemporary shampoo didn't actually exist before the 1930s, and then wartime rationing meant that soaps and shampoos weren't abundant. Rationing eased off after the war, in some places earlier than others (the US, for example, ceased rationing much earlier than the UK).

People stopped wearing hats because the problem that necessitated the wearing of hats went away when people got cleaner.
posted by Ritchie at 7:04 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]



Suit coats are probably going to follow hats pretty soon.
posted by DU at 9:44 AM on April 21 [+] [!]


I'd bet on ties before suit coats.
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:09 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I doubt it, ties are one of the few ways men can have a fashion sense in a formal suit environment.
posted by The Whelk at 7:10 AM on April 21, 2010




You could turn this around and ask: why did men ever wear hats? Or, indeed, why did anyone?

I am no hat scholar, but impression is that it started sometime after the collapse of Rome. People in the ancient West wore hats, but not continually. By the High Middle Ages, my sense is that most people wore hats continually, often with a sort of soft cap underneath, so you could take off your hat and still be wearing one (Bartholomew Cubbins took this to extremes, but still). I suspect the reasons were a) dirty hair and b) keeping one's head warm in drafty, ill-heated spaces. In many cultures, hats serve as easy social identifiers, too (still true today).
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:17 AM on April 21, 2010


I've actually noticed an increase in formality among the young professionals, which I'm taking as a "gottakeepthisjobgottskeepthisjoblookPRETTY!" attitude.

The guy who works in our mailroom here wears a full suit every day. He's the only one who does, including the CEO.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:20 AM on April 21, 2010


The guy who works in our mailroom here wears a full suit every day. He's the only one who does, including the CEO.

You dress for the job you want... which is why I'm wearing this clown suit.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:24 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


“Of course, because we know nothing happened there right? But if we are considering time travel, how can we know if in some other timeline something historical happened right there?”

He does look like he is waiting for something more impressive to happen. He may be thinking "What happened? This is where the thing was supposed to happen... wait, what thing? I don't remember why I traveled back in time! What have I done?!"

Actually, I think the truth is that the lucky photographer snapped a picture of the coolest person who ever lived in the '40s.
posted by fuq at 7:26 AM on April 21, 2010


You dress for the job you want.

Which is true, and given the attire of the rest of the office, it suggests that the job he wants is with a different company.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:27 AM on April 21, 2010


People stopped wearing hats because the problem that necessitated the wearing of hats went away when people got cleaner.

I'm pretty skeptical of this. If your hair is dirty and smelly, why not just wash it? "Shampoo didn't exist/was rationed" is no excuse. Just use regular soap. Or simply rinse it.

Furthermore, there is a perfectly serviceable explanation for hat wearage: Warmth.

Or maybe people wore coats because of smelly armpits?
posted by DU at 7:31 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Which is true, and given the attire of the rest of the office, it suggests that the job he wants is with a different company.

If you were stuck in the mail room all day, would you want to stay?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:34 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]



The guy who works in our mailroom here wears a full suit every day. He's the only one who does, including the CEO.


I swear to god this is related, bear with me.

So! I needed some extra cash and decided to go in for some temp work a while ago despite my desire to never work in an office ever. So I sign up, ass the tests, and get a job for a day in "the mail room" of a big midtown building. I thinking "mailroom" like this or this ? Okay I could do that. Then I check the address. HOLY SHIT. It's in the Daily News building AKAK THE DAILY PLANET. I can totally be JIMMY OLSEN. I bow-tie and sweater vest up, press my twill pants, I AM READY TO BE SPUNKY.

Then I find out "mailroom" work is rummaging around a dank sub-basement lifting and removing arbitrary boxes into empty rooms and then removing them again in a universe devoid of meaning or purpose that also smells like wet garbage. Which is to say I don't understand how the rest of the world works and I may or may not be from the Past.
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 AM on April 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


No. The answer is right there in front of you. A man wearing sunglasses has no need for a hat, unless his head is cold.
posted by rahnefan at 7:46 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


"ass the tests"

wow even my typos hate temp work.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


People stopped wearing hats at roughly the same time they stopped being polite.

And started getting real?

"Up next on MTV, it's the season premiere of Real World: TARDIS!"
posted by kmz at 7:51 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


A man wearing sunglasses has no need for a hat, unless his head is cold.

Unless he's bald. Sunburn up there would be a bitch.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:52 AM on April 21, 2010


John seems to have helmet hair in wave, while Mr Time has flyaway hair. Not to mention a mole that John doesn't seem to have. And sticky-out ears.

Will I ever escape this song? [self link]

Meet Mr Johnny, his hair receded,
He had helmet hair in waves,
So they gave him medicinal compound,
And now he's coiffed and travels time in unusual ways.

And Mr Time, with flyaway hair,
He was from the from future,
So the picture they checked with ELA,
And now they think it's suspect and smelly.

And Mr. John, who had sticky out ears.
And it made him awful shy.
So they gave him medicinal compound,
And now he's learning how to fly.

Lily died and went up to heaven.
Oh, the church bells they did ring.
She took with her medicinal compound.
Hark the herald angels sing.
posted by tellurian at 7:56 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Dude, if I'm going to time travel, I'm going to go back to an event a Hell of a lot more rad than a bridge opening."

It's not hard to imagine the event being personally significant. Maybe it's when his parents were conceived or something. Or maybe time travel requires events out of control of man (the Glory Road system) and the only connection for the next two weeks was in the afternoon after the bridge opening.
posted by Mitheral at 8:02 AM on April 21, 2010


When did men stop wearing hats? And why?
It is rude to wear your hat indoors, and I spend most of my day indoors.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:05 AM on April 21, 2010


"ass the tests"

wow even my typos hate temp work.


I figured it must have been a creative way to get a clean bill of health on a urine test.
posted by DU at 8:05 AM on April 21, 2010


You dress for the job you want... which is why I'm wearing this clown suit.

...and why I'm wearing power armor.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:08 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What about the guy's T-shirt? Shirts printed with any kind of logos or emblems on them did not become popular until after the 50s; the first recorded t-shirt with anything on it was in The Wizard of Oz, just a couple of years previous to this. No way could things have evolved that fast that soon.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:12 AM on April 21, 2010


Dude, if I'm going to time travel, I'm going to go back to an event a Hell of a lot more rad than a bridge opening.

Maybe the guy is from our future too and we have yet to know the true significance of the event to history.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:12 AM on April 21, 2010


I was told that American men stopped wearing hats after World War II as a rejection of the compulsory hat-wearing that military service dictated. Sounds reasonable.
posted by kgander at 8:22 AM on April 21, 2010


Dude, if I'm going to time travel, I'm going to go back to an event a Hell of a lot more rad than a bridge opening.

This bridge figures prominently in the 3rd Ancillary Crimean War. It is because of this bridge that Royal General P. Hilton VIII is able to relocate her forces to Vancouver in anticipation of the Russian Bloglords (led by Bristol Palin Mach 2, PBUH) on their legendary Slug March across the former Canadian territories (which by this point, of course, had become the Northern Dread Wastes) towards a surprise western pincer move on Paris, Freedomland, capital of the McDonald's Euro Conglomerate®. It's actually because of the time-tunneling of young Thadeus Eggers (pictured) that there was a Fusion Fun Blaster (available at toy stores everywhere) available for General Hilton, who subsequently was able to shorten the distance to Vancouver by about 30 km.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:23 AM on April 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


What about the guy's T-shirt?

Are you sure that's a t-shirt and not a crewneck sweater?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:25 AM on April 21, 2010


I can't wait for Futurama to start back up either shakespeherian.
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 AM on April 21, 2010


Sort of has an early beatnik - "Kerouac-ian" - vibe to him...
posted by LakesideOrion at 8:37 AM on April 21, 2010


Oh there's a time traveller in that photo alright but it's worse than you think!
posted by mazola at 8:38 AM on April 21, 2010


kinnakeet, if you read the article, you'd have noted that they address this very issue:

Being used as we are to our contemporary fashion, we look at the man and assume he’s wearing a stamped T-shirt, something that would be indeed out of place (or time). But if you look carefully, you can see that he’s actually wearing (or could as well be wearing) a sweatshirt. And sweatshirts with bordered emblems were not uncommon in the 1940s – in fact you can find those in other photos from the same exhibit.

Following the last link from the FPP, there's a picture to illustrate this, and all.
posted by Dysk at 8:38 AM on April 21, 2010


I was told that American men stopped wearing hats after World War II as a rejection of the compulsory hat-wearing that military service dictated. Sounds reasonable.

That's when men stopped shaving daily, shooting people, and peeing behind trees too.
posted by rahnefan at 8:40 AM on April 21, 2010


You see old sweaters with crests sewn on, but you see them with, say, a big letter woven in, too. Which is what I think I'm seeing here.

myth=busted.
posted by Trochanter at 8:41 AM on April 21, 2010


It's likely been posted in comments already (but if not), ELA doesn't amount to much unless you have the original negative or photo to judge it against. Once lossy compression starts (as happens in just about any image saving), or even something that offsets the pixel compression grid (8x8 turning into 7x7 grid for example), it's no good.

Otherwise, nothing else in there is out of time, just slightly out of place given the incredibly consistent look of the other subjects in the photo.
posted by Doug Stewart at 8:50 AM on April 21, 2010


I was told that American men stopped wearing hats after World War II as a rejection of the compulsory hat-wearing that military service dictated. Sounds reasonable.

Except that my dad still wore a hat every day in the late 1960's, and as far as I can recall the people he worked with did too. Up until about then you weren't considered fully dressed in a suit without a hat. Still, it was around that time that they faded out. I'm guessing it was the movies. James Bond wore plenty of suits and I don't recall seeing him with a hat.
posted by lordrunningclam at 8:50 AM on April 21, 2010


Thanks Brother Dysk. The thing did look anachronistic to me but I hadn't read the whole article. That said, I'm guessing that close inspection of group photos from earlier periods would turn up other odd things. The guy doesn't really pop out at first; I wonder what led somebody to scrutinize that particular image, or was it just a happenstance thing?
posted by kinnakeet at 8:52 AM on April 21, 2010


Iames Bond wore plenty of suits and I don't recall seeing him with a hat.
Ah! that would be it then.
posted by tellurian at 8:58 AM on April 21, 2010


James Bond sometimes wore a hat; in fact it became part of a running gag.

And of course, Oddjob wore a hat.
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:59 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guys, can anyone explain the zip up hoodie? It seems that hooded sweatshirts were invented in the 1930s, but did they contain zippers? If not, when were zip ups invented?
posted by too bad you're not me at 9:06 AM on April 21, 2010


There's a fantastic comment by M. Louder (April 18th, 2010 8:59 am; no link available) on the Forgetomori blog that really goes deep into some of the less obvious weird bits about the photo. Here's an excerpt:

There is a very telling absence of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in this photo. A group that large and that happy in 1940 would have included some smokers, both male and female. I can see none. This suggests not that the photo is not authentic but that there is some reason for not smoking. The proximity of the people would not have caused such a smoking abstention. People smoked everywhere in those days, and it does not matter how close they are together.

Another aspect of the picture, as compared to like pictures, of the time is the almost random mixing of men and women. Generally, the men would have clustered more together as would the women. There is something going on here which has caused these people to rush up randomly to the line of pre-parked cars and watch. The event definitely lacks pre-planning. The women would have been quite separate from the men if this had been so.

posted by iamkimiam at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2010


Has no one else noticed the guy in the black suit in the bottom right is obviously a zombie? The time traveler saved us all!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:11 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was born in the late 50s and my parents occasionally made me wear a hat when I was very young. But that was specifically only on special days and always with a tie (too young for a suit). My dad and older male relatives did the same. By the time of my First Communion in 1964, almost no one was wearing them. My church had special hooks on the back of the pews to hold a hat (so you didn't sit on it), of course. But by then no one was using them and they mostly got played with by bored kids like me.
posted by tommasz at 9:13 AM on April 21, 2010


Speaking of hats, I was scanning a bunch of old slides from my Masonic lodge a few months ago, and noticed just how many of the guys were wearing them. I figure these pictures were from the late 40s to late 50s (any help narrowing it down is appreciated).

I particularly like this one (because of the pipe) and this one, which just screams "Yes. I'm dapper and suave. Deal with it."
posted by mrbill at 9:13 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, come now. Men stopped wearing hats in the middle ages.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:17 AM on April 21, 2010


People arguing about why a time traveler wouldn't change his clothes, etc. are forgetting one important thing. The time displacement hallucinogen that will be accidentally synthesized in our future doesn't work on any explicitly conscious level, ala BTTF. To this particular time traveler, he was just on some really intense trip (notice the Keanu Reeves woooah look on his face) and had no idea he was ACTUALLY going back in time. The other people in the picture didn't notice him either, because on some level of reality he didn't exist (and yet existed at the same time - it's hard to explain this without a college course or two in theoretical physics, but basically this time traveler is Schrodinger's hipster). Indeed, the photographic evidence itself is an anomaly that folks of the future will research endlessly (hello, future-people reading this thread!). After this guy's notorious exploits, the drug will be banned, trade secrets locked up, fun's over. There's a lot more to explain but I have to go. Just one more thing for you to ponder before I head back - if you've ever done DMT or ayahuasca, you've probably changed the past or the future without knowing it.
posted by naju at 9:18 AM on April 21, 2010


James Bond wore a hat in the gun barrel sequences (Wikipedia) throughout the 1960s and into the '70s, first going hatless in Live and Let Die (1973).

Stunt man Bob Simmons was in the gun barrel openings of the first three James Bond movies.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:23 AM on April 21, 2010


Yeah, count me in as one of the people who don't get the big deal about this. He's just dressed casually in an era when people dressed more formally in public. Is that really so strange?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:24 AM on April 21, 2010


Someone is eventually going to find this guy and get him to recreate the photo somehow. Then him and Eduard Khil are going to be in a cellphone commercial together, bringing it all full circle.
posted by amethysts at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Every time traveler worth their chronobadge knows that you've got to put together a suitably period outfit before you jump.

A walk through Kensington Market and other like areas in cities the world over clearly indicates there a bunch of time travellers not worth their chronobadge are amongst us. Those clothing shops sell brand new "vintage" garments.

And when discussing photo-retouching and history one cannot help thinking of the oft reference but still wonderful Boilerplate, a true work of art.
posted by juiceCake at 9:28 AM on April 21, 2010


Also, I refuse to believe this is South Fork until someone shows me where adolescent J.R. Ewing is in this picture.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:31 AM on April 21, 2010


Oh shit we blew his cover.
posted by The Whelk at 9:32 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh shit we blew his cover.

Okay I just spent like a minute comparing that and the original side-by-side and either you uploaded the wrong photo or I'm no longer capable of pattern recognition.
posted by griphus at 9:39 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]




Okay I just spent like a minute comparing that and the original side-by-side and either you uploaded the wrong photo or I'm no longer capable of pattern recognition.

mathowie is in the picture
posted by grubi at 9:50 AM on April 21, 2010


I've always heard that beards disappeared from American faces in the early '20s because all the doughboys returning from the Great War had shaved so the gas masks would fit correctly. After the war, the clean-shaven heroes were the ones setting the style.
posted by Aquaman at 9:55 AM on April 21, 2010


So I'm going through a collection of photos here, and there is a posed picture of people at this same bridge opening, but no sign of our guy. Except-- let me posit a theory here-- the informal dressed dude in question could well be a young trucker with a habit of photographing everything in the valley, right?

(This theory is shot to hell if you consider that his photos seem to be the source for the corroborating photo that tellurian posted)
posted by norm at 9:56 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is silly. He looks out of place because he's not wearing a suit and tie like all of the other men in the picture. Ignore everybody else. Just look at his fuzzy jacket and sweatshirt underneath it. It's easy enough to imagine that look on a college campus in the 1940s. In fact, maybe he's there to take pictures for the local college newspaper.

Also, I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanations for why he's taking photos with a digital camera.
posted by Davenhill at 10:01 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


There are a lot more people in this alternate view of the (nearly) same moment in time than this view of a relatively largely different moment in time. So maybe Mr Time wasn't there yet or had left already. His truck isn't in the posed one either.

Also, I wonder who the photographer of the main picture was and where he was standing. He's higher than everyone else. Maybe standing on the railing? Is he the guy in the trenchcoat (and something held up?) halfway down the bridge here?
posted by DU at 10:09 AM on April 21, 2010


Also, I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanations for why he's taking photos with a digital camera.

It's not as impressive once you realize it's a 1.5 megapixel camera.
posted by grubi at 10:16 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


> You dress for the job you want.

My neck-to-midthigh chainmail tunic. Took two-plus years of spare and/or stolen moments to make it and now I'm always a bit nervous without it, heavy as it is, for fear I won't have it with me the day I finally do stumble upon the actual door, portal, glowing escape hatch, the one with the hot elf-maiden standing beside it with the sign that says "You found it at last, This Way To The Great Egress." And me without my chainmail. Probably no hard hat, either.
posted by jfuller at 10:39 AM on April 21, 2010


norm: "there is a posed picture of people at this same bridge opening, but no sign of our guy."

Because he wasn't dressed appropriately or because he was from the future?
posted by iamkimiam at 10:43 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looking through a lot of those Wihksne photos, I think Mr Time might be Albert Wihksne. He wore glasses, it looks like he might have the flyaway hair (usually under a hat) and looks a little cheeky. Mr Time's sunglasses might be either prescription or of a sort that would work under/over regular glasses, which could explain the odd wraparound.

It's hard to find a photo of Albert that definitively does or does not have the mole, but there's a hint of one here.

Or not (maybe Mr Time's mole is a fly or spot of dirt?)
posted by DU at 10:49 AM on April 21, 2010


he's not a time traveler; he's just gay: fashion-forward and knits his own sweaters. it's not like 100 years from now people are going to see pictures of lady gaga and think she's a time traveler.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:50 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think this might be the zombie in black.
posted by DU at 10:51 AM on April 21, 2010


Lady Gaga is a time traveller.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've always heard that beards disappeared from American faces in the early '20s because all the doughboys returning from the Great War had shaved so the gas masks would fit correctly.

Possibly, but I think the most likely reason is because that it was around that time that the safety razor first became mass-produced. Although WWI may have had something to do with it: "During World War I, Gillette worked out a deal with the U.S. Armed Forces which provided Gillette safety razors and blades to every enlisted man or officer on his way to Europe as a regular part of his standard-issue gear. By the end of the war, some 3.5 million razors and 32 million blades were put into military hands, thereby converting an entire nation of men to the Gillette safety razor."

It's a lot faster and more convenient to shave your entire face everyday if you don't have to worry about slicing yourself open with a cutthroat razor.
posted by frobozz at 10:58 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


the shirt actually looks like an old footballer shirt, the way the neck is cut and what looks like perhaps a school letter on the front.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:04 AM on April 21, 2010


this is my Halloween costume this year.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 11:04 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, Albert was apparently born in 1919 and thus would have been in his early 20s in that photo. He died in 1953, but I don't know how. He had living relatives as recently as Dec 2008 (assuming James Albert is the same as Albert), so maybe we could ask them.
posted by DU at 11:07 AM on April 21, 2010


How soon we forget
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on April 21, 2010


I was trying to go at that same theory, DU! The honeymoon pic of Albert is the one that I thought looked like the Mystery Man, but yeah; no mole.
posted by norm at 11:12 AM on April 21, 2010


I just emailed the relative, so we'll see if I hear back that she either does or doesn't recognize Mr Time.
posted by DU at 11:15 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


INTERNET DETECTIVE SQUAD

Finding Facts.

Avoiding Work.
posted by The Whelk at 11:16 AM on April 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


a quick where's-waldo sights six other guys in that pic who aren't wearing hats, seven if you count that guy all the way in the back who is either bald or wearing like a white viking helmet...
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:16 AM on April 21, 2010


What kind of name is "The Doctor" anyway?

And why do his companions wander off and get photographed?
posted by JDC8 at 11:21 AM on April 21, 2010


James Bond sometimes wore a hat ; in fact it became part of a running gag.

I'd forgotten about that. I stand corrected.

Also, I don't think the guy in the photo looks particularly out of place, other than he didn't dress for the event and he appears to be the tallest person in the crowd.
posted by lordrunningclam at 11:26 AM on April 21, 2010


I would have thought the hat sub-thread would have moved off to AskMe or MeTa by now, but...
As far as I know, western civilization has always had a hat culture. In addition to the protective uses, they offered a badge of rank and status (not to mention style). Bankers wore different hats from lawyers which were different from engineers, etc. Some 'wore many hats'.
I was born in a hat-wearing time. My father (b.1914) still wore a hat to work in the 1970's. We were instructed in hat rules- you take it off when you go inside, for instance. Now I'm in my late 50's and I still take my hat off when I go indoors or else I feel uncomfortable. I would take my hat off for the National Anthem and tip it to my elders. (Also when we'd drive under a Reading Railroad bridge, but I digress...)
Now I'm not saying Kennedy started it, but during the 60's, that culture left the USA. Some people still wore hats, but the hat culture left, and with it the rules. So now more people are wearing hats, but it's more a fashion statement than a status symbol. (And they wear them indoors!!!)
posted by MtDewd at 12:30 PM on April 21, 2010


When I was a teen I tried to find a hat box for my girlfriend. I found a milliner's in Lincoln Park, Chicago. He bitterly told me that hat boxes weren't made anymore since hats went out of style, and he blamed the hippies.

The only white-collar guys I see wearing hats these days are architects. I figure it's because a) hats are like little buildings and b) Frank Lloyd Wright wore one.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The "time traveler" in the photo obviously has hat-head - look at the way his hair curls up over his ears. I'm guessing he left his hat in the car.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2010


When you say work, do you mean to say that they are effective at identifying counterfeit toilet paper? How many times has this come up for you?

There was an article about a counterfeiter (posted here I think) which describes how the man tried for a long time to find a paper stock that defeated those pens. He carried a pen around and marked everything, and nothing worked until one day he used it on some toilet paper.

Those pens are just iodine dispensers, which turn black on contact with starch. Regular paper, made from wood pulp, has starch. Cotton linen, which is used in money, does not.
posted by danny the boy at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2010


The honeymoon pic of Albert is the one that I thought looked like the Mystery Man, but yeah; no mole.

Could be a fly.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:47 PM on April 21, 2010


There is a very telling absence of cigarettes, cigars and pipes in this photo.

Out of that whole crowd, I could only count ten visible hands, and two could be holding cigarettes: the man in the upper left (upper-most hat in the photo) and the guy in the back row with his head tilted down (to the left of the bald man). And while it's true that people used to smoke a lot, people didn't (and still don't) tend to smoke while they're actively doing something.

Has no one else noticed the guy in the black suit in the bottom right is obviously a zombie?

He's not a zombie. It's just that his contacts are bothering him.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:49 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


did you notice how that old lady in the black dress is doing the michael-jackson crotch grab?
posted by fallacy of the beard at 12:51 PM on April 21, 2010


He bitterly told me that hat boxes weren't made anymore since hats went out of style, and he blamed the hippies.

I got a hat box at Goorin Bros. in Wicker Park in February. If they stopped getting made, they're back.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:51 PM on April 21, 2010


Looking through a lot of those Wihksne photos, I think Mr Time might be Albert Wihksne. He wore glasses, it looks like he might have the flyaway hair (usually under a hat) and looks a little cheeky. Mr Time's sunglasses might be either prescription or of a sort that would work under/over regular glasses, which could explain the odd wraparound. (DU)

I, too, spent a lot of time (way too much) looking at those photos, and until I realized I actually needed to work, I came to the same conclusion. I'm eager to know if you get a response back (well, not too eager, but more than I should be since it's clear that Mr. Time isn't from the future).

However, my time wasn't completely wasted, as I learned a lot about the perils of trucking along the Bridge River Road back in the 30s and 40s (the clippings on this page are pretty fascinating, as are these articles.)

If nothing else, Albert sounds like a pretty interesting guy.

(And because someone mentioned the way the cars are arranged upthread -- [at least, I think so, but it's been awhile since I started to browse the photos] -- they're lined up in that manner because they're about to cross the new bridge.)
posted by paisley sheep at 12:54 PM on April 21, 2010


they're about to cross the new bridge.

OMG MORE TIME TRAVEL - there's a Roman Legionaire on the far right of that photo about to walk into frame!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:07 PM on April 21, 2010


While spending too much time looking through those pictures, I also noticed one that appeared to depict an American flag hanging from the about-to-be-opened bridge. That seemed kind of odd to me also. And yeah, Albert sure is interesting. Plunged off the highway carrying beer, and still had the presence of mind to send his rescuers 15 miles to town instead of 1/2 mile to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Inman's house? Nice work, Albert!
posted by norm at 2:08 PM on April 21, 2010


How come the bottom right corner looks realistically bordered polaroid style, while the bottom left corner looks laser-sharp like it was cut and paste? Is it a picture of a picture or is not.
posted by cashman at 2:14 PM on April 21, 2010


cashman, in photographic printing the paper is often held in an easel then placed under the enlarger. The blades of the easel mask the paper, creating that white border. Sometimes a loose or bent blade will rest slightly above the paper, creating the fuzziness you see in the bottom right corner.
posted by hydrophonic at 4:25 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The relative said she never new Albert so she wouldn't recognize him anyway. She's passing it along to a cousin. Hopefully I'll hear back.
posted by DU at 4:12 AM on April 22, 2010


I also noticed one that appeared to depict an American flag hanging from the about-to-be-opened bridge.

Looks like it could be a Union Jack on the left, the Canadian Red Ensign on the right and the BC flag (which from 1896 to 1960 had the wavy lines on the top and the union jack on the bottom) in the center (or maybe an American flag?).

Incidentally, the guy on the left here is the time traveller. Is that Albert or his brother Oscar?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:58 AM on April 22, 2010


Incidentally, the guy on the left here is the time traveller. Is that Albert or his brother Oscar?

It's not Albert, because Albert wears glasses and is probably on the right. But how did you determine the guy on the left is Mr Time? The sweater? He doesn't seem like a particular match to me.
posted by DU at 5:46 AM on April 22, 2010


He looks a lot like Albert, but is thinner and has more hair. He's younger than Albert. His face is longer and less round, but still similar to Albert. I'd bet, if we can find another shot of him, he's got a mole. It's a different sweater, but a very similar style. My bet is on Oscar.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:44 AM on April 22, 2010


Has anyone tried to contact John? On the first page of photos, there's a link at the bottom for email.

Hmm. I'm not sure about Oscar -- the hairline doesn't seem right to me. There might be another shot of him here (middle, sitting on the logs), but it could also be Cecil (profile) who was another contender in my vote for Mr. Time.
posted by paisley sheep at 7:56 AM on April 22, 2010


I think Oscar's got a hat on in both shots.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:06 AM on April 22, 2010


I think we may have broken Hank's Truck Pictures.
posted by norm at 8:55 AM on April 22, 2010


Ok, just a lull. I looked at all those pictures yesterday, and while I'm intrigued by the possibility, I don't see that it is for sure Oscar. It will be pretty awesome when we figure this out though.
posted by norm at 9:02 AM on April 22, 2010


People are debating the significance of the bridge without noting the obvious question: Was the bridge there before he showed up?
posted by gern at 12:08 PM on April 22, 2010


Can I take it to the bridge? Can I take it to the bridge?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:25 PM on April 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Where's that confounded bridge?!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:47 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where? At exactly one minute and four seconds into this video.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:48 PM on April 22, 2010


The photo seems to have been taken offline.
posted by cashman at 8:12 AM on May 6, 2010


BUM BUM BAAAAAH!
posted by The Whelk at 8:19 AM on May 6, 2010


Did the family ever get back to anyone?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:33 AM on May 6, 2010


I've had no update since here.
posted by DU at 8:57 AM on May 6, 2010


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