The SnapStory Project is part of and ongoing effort to unplug from the day-to-day activities of the digital world. While I understand it’s a digital medium I’m publishing to, the activities of photography and writing are very much an unplugged. This past weekend I was invited to spend the night at a friend’s cabin in Northern Wisconsin. On the way home we took our time–stopping in small towns for breakfast and a bit of browsing.
We woke up early and quietly packed our stuff into the car without waking up the larger group of friends who enjoyed drinking games late into the night. I went to sleep early, knowing that I would be more interested in taking the long way home the next day–stopping in every small town along the way. There were a few places we passed on the way to the cabin that I wanted to photograph. And a few antique stores that always lobby for my attention when I drive to this part of the country.
A stop in the little Minnesota town of Lindstrom brought me to the Antique Mall, where I would typically end up buying something to clutter up my already museum-like living room.
This time I decided to take a photo safari around the store, snapping photos of items that seemed better suited to stay on the shelf than to make their way home with me. It’s a trick I learned several years ago while traveling: most times trinkets and souvenirs look better on the cluttered shelves and in makeshift stalls than they do sitting alone on the fireplace mantle at home. Taking a photograph preserves those beautiful moments.
This collection of old-timey medicine bottles are a stunning reminder of how far we’ve come in the past hundred years, or so. Gone are the days when the pharmacist would need to mix up a batch of chemicals to treat your undiagnosed illness. While times may have changed, there’s something special about the remnants of time gone by that fill our antique stores. I just hope that the next generation will appreciate these beautiful items as much as I do.
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