In 2007, a caché of 30,000 negatives was found in an abandoned storage unit. A young man, John Maloof, bought them for $400 at an auction, and started developing them. He was 26 years old, and he was a real estate developer in Chicago.
Not knowing if the photographs were anything special, he began posting them on Flickr, where they received an enormously popular response. Whoever had taken them became an insta-Internet-celebrity. It was a digital love story trawled from an analog time.