90 years from the streets of Budapest
August 29, 2010 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Fortepan is a collection of 4973 found amateur photos sourced mainly in Budapest. Pick a year and browse - photos are organized in chronological order from 1900 to 1990, accessible via a slider. "Users are encouraged to use, copy, send to friends, clip or paste the photos, which are free for they are not our property." (via Szanalmas, sometimes nsfw)
posted by madamjujujive (19 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Wow! I'm lost for words. This is like ffffound without the exclusivity. Astounding post madamjujive, as always. My birth year is strange and unworldly through this particular lens.
posted by unliteral at 7:10 AM on August 29, 2010

Yes, this is fantastic. And for once the unique photo interface is a feature, not a bug.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:28 AM on August 29, 2010

Checking out some of the earliest ones, 1900~1905... a world long vanished. Fascinating viewing. Thanks mjj.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 AM on August 29, 2010

Wonderful - thank you madamjujujive.

I do like this one. My caption: 'Intrepid parachutist Lazslo Nagy landed with such force that his entire lower body was buried. A passing rambler constructed an improvised shelter over him while they waited for help to arrive.'
posted by misteraitch at 7:43 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I know I've already commented and I know this second comment is almost a cliche but after spending twenty more minutes playing/browsing, it's the only thing that I can think to say:

THIS is what the Internet is for.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:54 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by carsonb at 8:34 AM on August 29, 2010

posted by oulipian at 8:37 AM on August 29, 2010

posted by basicchannel at 8:51 AM on August 29, 2010

Sexiness will eat your soul - I'm sure she's lovely, but in the photo she looks absolutely demonic
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 9:14 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wonderful, wonderful—I can't thank you enough. What a great post.
posted by languagehat at 9:41 AM on August 29, 2010

Treasure, as usual.
posted by nickyskye at 9:59 AM on August 29, 2010

Wow! The Gellérthegy has a lot more trees on it now, and the bridge with the scaffolding (the Erzsébethíd) was replaced with a completely different superstructure. In this picture from 1905 it looks like the Ferenchíd. That's cool!

I saw roughly this same view on July 29, before we came back (sigh) to Indiana, but none of the pictures I took that evening were very much of a then-and-now look-alike. But still - Budapest in 1905 was recognizably the same city as in 2010, and that alone is pretty neat.

I agree with the sentiment above. This is what the Internet is for.
posted by Michael Roberts at 10:30 AM on August 29, 2010

Wonderful find indeed. A real treasure trove. Thanks for sharing, madamjujujive. Having lived in Vác for a number of years, I am hoping to find some local photos in the many hours I'll spend browsing this collection.
posted by vac2003 at 1:44 PM on August 29, 2010

Longstanding question this reminds me of ... does anyone know what the small sign in the bottom-right of this image means, or how to read/decode it? I remember seeing them all over Budapest, and even took a few photos specifically of them. They seemed to generally be on the corners of buildings at the ends of city blocks.

I think in reality they are yellow and blue lettering on a blue background, but I might be misremembering that.

I always assumed they were in some way navigational, perhaps referring to some sort of urban grid that I just wasn't familiar with, but I never worked it out, and never bothered to ask anyone.

The last time I was in BP (2005) there seemed to be fewer of them around, like they weren't being put back up when they were falling down, but maybe that was just sample bias.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:55 PM on August 29, 2010

What an incredible image collection. Budapest is such a fascinating city, so beautiful and slightly decrepit but with a strong sense of national identity.

It's a shame there's no metadata on each photo page. It'd be awesome if users could contribute tags, I'd sure like to search for specific things. Did anyone find any photos of the uprising in 1956? I tried and didn't see any, I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't in the collection. But maybe I missed it.

Kadin2048, I think those little signs indicate utilities; either power or water. You see them in Germany, too.
posted by Nelson at 10:25 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

> Did anyone find any photos of the uprising in 1956?

There were a number of photos of shell-damaged buildings from around then; I assumed that's what they were.
posted by languagehat at 10:53 AM on August 30, 2010

Some things never change.

Magnificent post, madamjujujive. Thank you.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:20 AM on August 30, 2010

Early prototype for Wackamole.
posted by Goofyy at 12:17 PM on August 30, 2010

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