A few years ago I read in the local paper about the case of a Photographer from The West Midlands in the UK. His hobby was to walk the industrial canals from about the time of WW2 until about the 1980s. He used glass plates for most of this time - and recorded the history of the canals and their decline as far as industry and commerce was concerned. A few prints survive of the people and places, long gone, that he photographed. The canal heritage people heard about him and tried to track him down. He had recently died - and they managed to contact his widow about 3 weeks after she had dumped his entire life's work at the Council tip.