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👀 Lost, found and returned
#125 | Tie a yellow ribbon
People often say you can find all sorts of things in a thrift store, so what would you do if you found old photographs, 35-millimetre slides and film canisters? What would you be inspired to do?
David Gutenmacher started a TikTok and Instagram account, hoping to put these frayed memories to good use and help them find their way back to the families to whom they belonged.
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That was nearly five years ago. He’s been buying old images ever since and, in 2021, started posting them on his Museum of Lost Memories Instagram account.
His followers — more than 485K people — love the content. For example, a 30-year-old home movie of an African-safari vacation went viral, and one of his followers went to extreme lengths to track down the young man in the video based on a single clue—his Wesleyan Swimming sweatshirt. A week later, the person was located in Maryland, and a digitised copy of the forgotten film was handed to him. The response video attracted just as much attention.
Gutenmacher started a website and graduated from photos and videos to letters, documents, and more – an archive for people to search through and find their lost memories again.
His inspiring journey and the effort he takes to share these forgotten memories put a smile on my face every time I browse through his collections. I hope they give you joy too.