History speaks

Weehawken photos of yesteryear up for grabsPosted March 25, 2010

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then Kevin Lamb has quite a story to tell.
The Canadian photographer, who has taken pictures of rockers like Bryan Adams, Barenaked Ladies, and Tragically Hip, stumbled upon a collection of historical photographs and letters from Weehawken and is hoping to give residents the opportunity to bring the items back home to the township.
Lamb, an avid collector of World War II memorabilia, has approximately 2,000 photographs and negatives and 300 letters from the World War II era that belonged to George J. Walthers Jr. who lived in Weehawken.
“I like reading the firsthand accounts,” said Lamb. “What got me interested in the whole collection is that George Walthers has hundreds of letters he sent every other day when he was overseas from 1942 to the end of the war.”


A historical collection of approximately 2,000 photographs and negatives and 300 letters from a Weehawken resident in the World War II era are being auctioned online.

Lamb found the items through a purchase on an online auction site. He said that the letters and pictures convey the hardships and daily life of the war and the struggle of being away from home.
“[In] collections that belong to one person, it’s sort of their whole experience,” said Lamb. “You start to feel like you know them.”

Capturing an era

The photos are dated from 1905 through the early 1960s and most are from the 1913 to the 1940s. A few of the photos were published in the book “Images of America: Weehawken,” which was recently included in the 150th Anniversary Time Capsule.
The subject of most of the photos and letters, George Walthers Jr., was a fire chief in Weehawken from the 1950s through approximately the 1970s.
Walthers’ father, also named George, was in the fire brigade in 1913 and was later the chief until his death in 1953, according to Lamb’s estimations.
Lamb’s collection includes a few hundred photos and negatives of Weehawken firefighters from 1913 through to the 1960s.
Walthers Jr. was also in the famed 415th Night Fighter squadron in World War II, which was famous for coining the term “foo fighters” because they reported the first sightings of UFOs on their night missions over Europe.
“I have a very large lot of photo negatives of his entire World War II experience in Europe,” said Lamb. “[And] hundreds of his letters that he sent home from 1942 to 1945. I also have many photo negatives of his father’s World War I experience at Fort Dix.”
Lamb began posting the items on an online auction site this weekend, and will continue to do so over the next few weeks.
For more information about the historical photographs and letters, email kevin55@rogers.com.
Lana Rose Diaz can be reached at ldiaz@hudsonreporter.com.


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