Columbia Photos

These days, taking a photograph is easy, but there was a time when taking a photograph required money, time, patience, planning and an artist’s eye. They were scarce and special. So, when some people in Columbia, TN found more than a million photographic negatives, some dating back to 1870, they felt they had found along-buried treasure. Tennessee Crossroads went to Columbia to see some of these extraordinary pictures of the past and find out how their discoverers are making sure those photos will be around well into the future.


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These days, taking a photograph is easy (Joe aims phone at camera and shoots a photo), There was a time when taking a photograph required money, time, patience, planning and an artist's eye. They were scarce and special. So, when some people in Columbia found more than a million photographic negatives, some dating back to 1870, they felt they had found along-buried treasure. Rob Wilds recently went to Columbia to see some of these extraordinary pictures of the past and find out how their discoverers are making sure those photos will be around well into the future.

Rob Wilds has been a part of the Tennessee Crossroads family since 1993. As one of our most frequent producers, and the recipient of several journalism awards throughout his various careers, Rob finds that the best reward for his work is meeting the fascinating people and visiting the interesting places he encounters in his travels. A presence in television, radio and print reporter for more than 20 years, Rob is a teacher, writer, producer and director as well as an actor (with appearances in feature films, television shows and on stage).

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