How to sell Porn from 1920's, 30's and 40's

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Inayat Noor, May 20, 2008.

  1. Inayat Noor

    Inayat Noor Subscriber

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    I am not sure if this belongs in this forum or not. Recently I purchased some items from a local person who had advertised on Craig's List. He was selling his grandfather's equipment. His grandfather was a newspaper photographer here in southeast Florida.

    With his grandfather's equipment he found explicit pornographic photos from 1920 to 1940. The photo's from the 40's were of sailors and island women of the South Pacific. These are also pornographic. The images from the 20's to 40's have the dates written on them. The images were taken with a Graflex. And some with a Rolleicord. These would have been taken in New York City in that time span.

    He has both the negatives and corresponding print image. This person's only interest is to sell them. He does not want to keep any, nor is he interested in this content. In fact he was surprised of his grandfather's secret side.

    Also, there are pictures of atomic bomb testing in the south pacific. These were described as incredible.

    Since he is interested in selling them and I have no interest in this content except for idle curiosity I have decided to put this on this forum. Does anyone know how this person can sell and to who may be interested? I mentioned socialology historians may be interested. At least historians. I find this so unusual this occurred in our history. Even academics may be interested.

    I hope I have not offended anyone by presenting this question here. I believe there must be a collector out these who may be interested.

    Inayat
     
  2. arigram

    arigram Member

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    If they are not expensive, I am definitely interested.
    No need to try to convince anyone here that vintage pr0n on paper is much
    more interesting than the modern online crap.
    No, seriously I am interested.
    I would love to start my photography collection with such great material.
     
  3. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    Had a similar experience with my grandfather's old papers. He's been gone almost 30 years, but the discovery was very recent. He was a serious amateur from the 20s on and there was a small collection of tasteful pinups he'd done through the years. It was fun to learn about that side of him after he'd been gone for so long.
    Neal
     
  4. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Sweet. I hope whoever buys these scans them and puts them up somewhere. Besides the obvious highly erotic factor of looking at naked women who would now be geriatric or possibly dead of old age, the nuclear bomb tests would be pretty cool to see.
     
  5. Kino

    Kino Member

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    You shouldn't have a problem selling the images; even the large archives are starting to discreetly collect vintage "porn". Just be careful how you go about doing it...
     
  6. Inayat Noor

    Inayat Noor Subscriber

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    I just talked to the person who has this collection. The negative sizes are 3 1/2 by 5 1/4. I have no idea which camera would have taken these. He also has alot of 8 X 10 inch negatives. This person talked to his grandmother and got more information. His grandfather had a studio in New York before he got married. This was when he took the porno. There is a rumor in the family he photographed aspiring show business people before they became famous. I'm sure this is wishful thinking.
     
  7. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    3.5 x 5.25 looks like one of the larger rollfilm formats like 122 that was common in folding cameras.

    It might be worth doing a bit of research before selling anything. As Kino said, you might actually hold something of value to archivists (or not, but it's worth knowing). Think about the kind of distribution you would like to see for these. Do you want them to be open for the "greater good" or do you just want to make a quick buck?

    There are people in academia who research the history of pornography (look up a few titles from an academic library); the very fact that you hold both the negatives and the prints could be of some value.
     
  8. Justin Cormack

    Justin Cormack Member

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    There is a lot more academic value if there is documentation and history. Everything you know and can document is important, and if the collection is scattered without that it wll be worth less to some people.
     
  9. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    The atom bomb or the porn? Both inevitable, I'd say.
     
  10. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I have a small collection of historic photos, most bought via ebay. It dawned on me a couple of years back that I could put together my own small history of photography quite cheaply. I own a daguerreotype, tintype, some cartes de visite & a lot of glass negs. I always look at the image as this has to hold some interest for me apart from the medium. A few of the items I own are pornographic or erotic in some way. This genre is an important part of photography. People were making explicit dags only a few years after its invention.
    I have seen this stuff being sold on ebay, I think you just have to be careful how it's presented. Show the image but black out any genitalia. Sell the neg & the print together. I would be interested in buying some but I'd have to see the imagery first.
     
  11. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    I would offer the pictures of the atomic bomb testing to the Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/ for the National Archive.
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Why? My father photographed Ann Margret before she was famous. He was just a small time portrait photographer and she just happened to live there at the time. I still have a large print he made of her. Unfortunately, its not porn or it might be worth more than $10. .

    Someone in NY could easily have photographed local models who went on to become famous, couldnt they?

    Wayne
     
  13. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Good idea but just be aware that the Library of Congress is NOT the National Archives; two very different organizations.

    The LOC is (literally) the Library of Congress and, as such, have different access policies than that of the National Archives and Record Administration.

    www.loc.gov

    http://www.archives.gov/

    NARA has all the public domain films you can copy for free, because they were paid for by taxpayers; the LOC has no obligation to make any collections available, but tend to be very open about access.
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You do not want to break the collection up in any way. The collection as a whole is what would make it interesting and worthy of inspection by those "in the know", not any one photo. Keeping everything as is is essential to preserving any historical and/or monetary value that the material MIGHT have.

    Having the negs is very important and increases value quite a lot, IF anyone is actually interested. If the pix have any writing or documentation, you stand an even better chance of interesting somebody.

    It is not going to be a gold mine by any means, but the pix should at least be offered up to be examined by experts. As long as he can prove the provenance, contact Curatorial Assistance in Pasadena, CA. Graham Howe is the owner, and he may be interested. Great guy who provides a great service. If he is not interested, he can at least provide some guidance and/or point you in a good direction.

    Curatorial Assistance • 113 East Union Street • Pasadena California 91103 USA • tel 626 577 9696 • fax 626 449 9603

    www.curatorial.org
     
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  16. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    ..
     
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  17. BobbyR

    BobbyR Member

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    I am sure some of the military history magazines now on the racks would be VERY interested in the bomb photos.
    Bobby
     
  18. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    The Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation, which runs the Atomic Testing Museum, might be interested as well.

    http://www.ntshf.org/
     
  19. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    Interesting thanks for clearing that up!
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Images like this were going for about $300 a piece at AIPAD this past year, including things like photographs people had made of themselves while having sex long before Polaroid. There are a few galleries that deal in vintage pornography, though I couldn't tell you which they were offhand.
     
  21. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Most interesting indeed. Some I think even looked like good artistic photos.
     
  22. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    Get them, I would love to see some scans of the bomb testing.
     
  23. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    PM sent. I too am very interested.

    Regards, Art
     
  24. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

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    I'd like to see them on antique road show some day. I'd snap up the whole lot, or someone here will judging from how many hits the "art" nudes average compared to all other images. Sounds like military historians would be interested, in the Island porn, since it sounds like GI's at play. SOunds like a silver mine at least.
     
  25. Mark Sawyer

    Mark Sawyer Member

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    But does he have images of women having sex with an atomic bomb?
     
  26. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Are there any photos of kittens? Kittens are nice.