Twenty years ago, back in 1990, a tall, white-bearded American burst into my office holding a box of photographs.
His name was Frank Dugan, born in New Jersey in 1925. Frank joined the US Air Force in 1949 and was sent as a control tower operator at Burtonwood in 1950.
He met Mary Green, from Anfield, at Speke Airport and they married in 1953 after he had demobbed. Fancying himself as a photographer, he took wedding photographs for a living, finishing off his rolls of film with the occasional shot of Liverpool life.
As an American in a foreign city, Frank was fascinated by Liverpool, particularly the endless terraced streets and the poverty he witnessed. Frank returned to the States in 1955 to start up as an antiques dealer and his short career as a photographer was effectively over.
Back in 1990, Frank was hoping to have a book published but there weren’t enough images – so I used many of them in a calendar. The photographs all had that magic quality of freezing time that only photography can achieve. Frank died in 2003 but these images will stand the test of time.
The idea of this blog is to bring to a wider public the thousands of images that are hidden away in archives both public and private. My own collection (of over 5000 historical photographs) illustrates many aspects of Liverpool’s history – the social, topographical, economic and cultural – and I will be posting new images daily to create a unique perspective on the city as seen through the camera’s lens.
Please add your comments. Perhaps you know what happened to the three lads in the photograph. They look desperately poor – but how did they turn out? This is the great thing about the web – it creates communities and shares knowledge in a way that was inconceivable ten years ago.