Trending
Woman Tracks Down Family After Finding Old Photos With Goodwill Projector
Kristie purchased a $15 slide projector at Goodwill that contained a mystery too.
Elijah Chan
08.26.21

Thrift shops have always been the go-to place for disposed of pre-loved items.

These items, no matter how old or how used, have been part of someone’s life. This makes every purchase a mystery gift that will either lead you to nothing interesting, or a serendipitous encounter with someone else’s memory.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

This is what happened to Georgia local Kristie Baeumert. Baeumert was at a Goodwill store when she found a rather interesting piece. She was looking for items to add to her vintage camper when she stumbled upon an Argus 300 Modell III slide projector.

But the projector had a mystery of its own.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

When she was at the counter, it was only then when they found a set of slides that came along with the device.

“The outside of the case looked like a vintage item, so I opened it up to peek,” Beaumert shared with CNN. “I actually discovered the slides when the cashier opened the box when I was paying.”

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

When she got home, she projected the slides on her wall to see who they belonged to. The women in the photos were donned in gowns and party dresses and were taken in different places.

Some pictures also showed two sisters having a good time with friends of the same age.

There were also photos of them on the beach or the seaside. It was easy to see from these photographs that this family didn’t stay still. They were in different places for most probably the majority of their childhood.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

These photos, while random, provided Baeumert an intimate snapshot of a family she never met but one that she almost felt she was part of.

“The more I looked at them, the more I wanted to know their story,” Baeumert told the news outlet.

Intending to return these memories to its rightful owner, Baeumert embarked on a search to find the truth behind her purchase.

She posted her discovery on Facebook where it was shared thousands of times. She hoped that with the ubiquitous platform, she could reach out to the family quickly. It also attracted help from random people who pieced together clues that they picked up from the photographs.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

One pointed out that the cars were from the mid-to-late 1950s. One of the slide boxes contained the word “Kansas”. One also theorized that the photos came from a military family who moved from one base to another. The theory was backed by a photo of what looks like a B36 bomber plane and the words “Wake Island”.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

News stations picked up on the story to help out Baeumert and it didn’t take long before the family contacted her.

And it turned out, the internet sleuths pieced it together quite nicely. The family was from Kansas, just like the box indicated. They were also a military family with their father serving in the air force. They also moved from one place to another, including Japan, Wake Island, and other Pacific locations.

Twitter - @Jennifer__Brett
Source:
Twitter - @Jennifer__Brett

Baeumert has since returned the photos in private.

The family expressed their gratitude especially when Baeumert did all she could just to find the owners.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

It might just be a collection of vintage photos for some, but for this family, it’s their life’s treasure. A treasure they recovered through the efforts of a dedicated stranger who knew the value of cherished memories.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Evening News

Watch the video below to see Baeumert meet with the family from the mysterious old photographs!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Share this article
By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement