Man who never got to meet his grandfather finally gets to connect with his relative

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A British man who was sadly born a year after his grandfather passed away has found a way to connect with him by unearthing his secret photo collection.

Dylan Jack Scalet, 26, who took his middle name from his granddad Jack Sharp, has started a website in his honour, where he hopes to raise funds for Alzheimer’s and cancer research. 

Striking pictures taken by Jack captured what life was like on the continent half a century ago, with gritty images including an elderly outdoor toilet attendant in a French slum, and posters in Switzerland opposing women’s voting rights.

Another image featured a French fireman taking a cigarette break, whilst a separate snap captured a man climbing a gate to get a free peek at a bull-riding performance.

These negatives are over 50 years old, some even 70 years old, but have only been scanned due to the free time found from lockdown in the coronavirus pandemic

These negatives are over 50 years old, some even 70 years old, but have only been scanned due to the free time found from lockdown in the coronavirus pandemic

Brighton-based Dylan Jack Scalet

Handsome Jack: Dylan's grandad died from Alzheimer's one year before he was born, but the grandson hopes he can raise money for Alzheimer's research by sharing his grandpa's work

Brighton-based Dylan Jack Scalet, 26, left, processed and digitalised the photographs taken by his grandfather Jack Sharp, right 

Having owned the photographic film for six years, digital engagement executive, Dylan Jack Scalet, 26, from Brighton, has processed and digitised his grandad’s pictures taken across Switzerland and France – offering vignettes of 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s life.

Engineer Jack Sharp, was born in 1928 in Harrold, Bedfordshire, and took up amateur photography in 1950. He moved to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1955 for work and to raise a family. 

He passed away in 1992 – one year before his grandson’s birth.

An unknown friend of photographer Jack Sharp getting ready for a dip with her swimming cap

An unknown friend of photographer Jack Sharp getting ready for a dip with her swimming cap

French window shopping

A man playing hoola hoop

French window shopping, left, and a man playing hoola hoop, right. Engineer, Jack Sharp, was born in 1928 in Harrold, Bedfordshire, and took up amateur photography in 1950. He moved to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1955 for work and to raise a family

A pigeon feeding frenzy is captured in Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy. Having owned the photographic film for six years, digital engagement executive, Dylan Jack Scalet, 26, from Brighton, has processed and digitised his grandad's pictures taken across Switzerland and France

A pigeon feeding frenzy is captured in Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy. Having owned the photographic film for six years, digital engagement executive, Dylan Jack Scalet, 26, from Brighton, has processed and digitised his grandad’s pictures taken across Switzerland and France

Bedfordshire-born Jack Sharp (b. 1928, d. 1992)

Unknown model looks out of a window at the beautiful Château de Chillon, Switzerland

Bedfordshire-born Jack Sharp (b. 1928, d. 1992), left, moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 1955 to join CERN as an engineer. It is also where his amateur photography career really began to flourish. An unknown model looks out of a window at the beautiful Château de Chillon, Switzerland, right

‘Growing up as a kid, my mum presented a couple of small prints of her father’s to me and proudly placed them around the house. As a millennial kid, there is definitely something mysterious about retro black and white images. There’s a certain curiosity about them,’ said Dylan.

‘I was given a massive box full of negatives in 2014, while I was studying photography at university, but it wasn’t until March this year in lockdown where I finally got around to looking at and digitising most of these images.

‘I’ve scanned three-thousand so far and I reckon there’s at least two-thousand left to go. When I first scanned them I was like ‘Holy crap. This is just like what is shown in academic photography textbooks.’

Young boy looking at polItical posters against female voting in Geneva, Switzerland. Some Swiss women didn't attain full voting rights until 1991

Young boy looking at polItical posters against female voting in Geneva, Switzerland. Some Swiss women didn’t attain full voting rights until 1991

A French soldier takes a well-deserved cigarette break

Man reading a book under a 'Plane' tree in Geneva, Switzerland

A French soldier takes a well-deserved cigarette break, left, and right, a man reading a book under a ‘Plane’ tree in Geneva, Switzerland

Kids by the beach

European baby in a vintage stroller meeting a donkey

Kids by the beach, left. A European baby in a vintage stroller meeting a donkey, right. ‘I was given a massive box full of negatives in 2014, while I was studying photography at university, but it wasn’t until March this year in lockdown where I finally got around to looking at and digitising most of these images,’ he said 

Love in Paris, captured from the edge of a building in Rue du Montparnasse. Sharp passed away in 1992 - one year before his grandson's birth. However, Dylan, who took his middle name from the photographer, has started a website in Jack's honour where he hopes to raise funds for Alzheimer's and cancer research

Love in Paris, captured from the edge of a building in Rue du Montparnasse. Sharp passed away in 1992 – one year before his grandson’s birth. However, Dylan, who took his middle name from the photographer, has started a website in Jack’s honour where he hopes to raise funds for Alzheimer’s and cancer research

‘My mum is over-the-moon. Jack was a really important figure in her life and she has been taking care of my gran, Jack’s wife, for the past ten years. I posted a photo of Jack’s to Reddit and it got seventeen-thousand upvotes.

‘She was taken aback with a lot of joy and happiness. It was kind of a validation that her dad was a great photographer. Hopefully we can take this success further and in the future earn money for charity as well.’

Speaking to Bored Panda, Dylan said: ‘I was really excited to discover what was inside all of the boxes I had inherited. There was so much, it could be anything! As you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised, which made the scanning process less tedious as it took weeks to fetch through all of it. 

‘As I had come to learn about the great photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier, I simply could not believe the images I was seeing as I dived into the archive. 

Course de Cote de la Faucille located in Gex/La Faucille, France. 'My mum is over-the-moon. Jack was a really important figure in her life and she has been taking care of my gran, Jack's wife, for the past ten years. I posted a photo of Jack's to Reddit and it got seventeen-thousand upvotes,' Scalet said

Course de Cote de la Faucille located in Gex/La Faucille, France. ‘My mum is over-the-moon. Jack was a really important figure in her life and she has been taking care of my gran, Jack’s wife, for the past ten years. I posted a photo of Jack’s to Reddit and it got seventeen-thousand upvotes,’ Scalet said 

French toilet attendant waits around in a French slum. Known as 'Madame Pipi', she sits in her booth waiting to charge patrons

Uncle Evan Sharp at the barbers with Jack Sharp snapping the pic in the reflection

French toilet attendant waits around in a French slum. Known as ‘Madame Pipi’, she sits in her booth waiting to charge patrons, left. Right, Uncle Evan Sharp at the barbers with Jack Sharp snapping the pic in the reflection

Vintage rollerskating at an unknown location in Europe. Speaking to Bored Panda , Dylan said: 'I was really excited to discover what was inside all of the boxes I had inherited'

Vintage rollerskating at an unknown location in Europe. Speaking to Bored Panda , Dylan said: ‘I was really excited to discover what was inside all of the boxes I had inherited’

A woman waits at a Paris Metro entrance with sign shown against the Louvre museum in the background

A man helps his son capture that perfect snap of the Eiffel Tower

A beautiful woman waits at a Paris Metro entrance with sign shown against the Louvre museum in the background, left, and right, a man helps his son capture that perfect snap of the Eiffel Tower

‘I knew instantly that these photos were special. Not just because they were my grandfather’s, but because I was able to recognize the beauty of these photographs objectively. I knew that it was going to be a lot of work, but getting this out seemed like the right thing to do.’

Dylan had always intended to process the images, but the pandemic gave him time to research and purchase the best quality scanner. He acquired an Epson V850, and hopes to scan hundreds more of Jack’s images to share with the world.

Jack Sharp used the now-vintage Agfa Super Silette Apotar 45mm f/1:3.5 and Asahi Pentax K Auto-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 cameras.

Source


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