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#WTF: Does a Photograph from 1941 Show Evidence of a Time Traveler?

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The time traveler is just above the lower right in this photograph via © Bralorne-Pioneer Museum

 

Does this 1941 photograph of the re-opening of the South Fork Bridge in Gold Bridge, British Columbia, show a time traveler? It had been claimed that his clothing and sunglasses are from the present day and not the styles worn in the 1940s.

The idea that the man in the photograph is a time traveler hinges on three items he is seen wearing or holding that appear to be of too modern for the 1940s: a logo tee-shirt, a small portable camera, and wrap-around sunglasses.

Further research suggests that the modern appearance of the man may not have been so new. The style of sunglasses first appeared in the 1920s. It seems that the man is wearing a printed tee-shirt, but it could to be a sweater with a sewn-on emblem, the kind of clothing often worn by sports teams of the period, similar to the one that was used by the Montreal Maroons, an ice hockey team from that era. The remainder of his clothing appears to have been available in the early 1940s, if far more casual than those worn by the other people in the photograph.

Debate on whether the image really shows a time traveler also considers of the picture has been computer manipulated, or is simply being mistaken as anachronistic. The “Time Traveler” received enough attention that a case study was presented at the Museums And The Web Conference in 2011.


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