The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘obsolete’ as ‘No longer produced or used; out of date’.
Why is it that something that was once so precious, become valueless?
I follow what I think is a really cool Twitter account ‘Abandoned’ @AbandonedPics which has great photos of places that have been abandoned by humanity.
I often look at these pictures and wonder what the story is behind them – why have what appears to have once been people’s prize possessions been left behind to rot?
This mansion in Dresden, Germany. What happened to the family that owned this that they abandoned everything? Were the ornate dressers lovingly chosen or were they bought to reflect the community standing of the owner? Were there warm family dinners around the table or were meals taken is stiff backed silence?
The Top Hat
This forgotten top hat among the ruins of a house. Was it worn at someone’s wedding? Was it a reminder of a special event? Was is something that had been passed down from someone’s grandfather? Was the owner a magician?
This typewriter, circa 1900, sits on a desk in an abandoned manor house. Did it belong to the owner of the house? Was it used by someone who was a writer? Was a great novel ‘penned’ on it? Was it bought as the latest piece of technology of the day and shown proudly to all the owner’s friends?
This bed, now with a mossy quilt in an abandoned home. Did a young couple lie down on it in the store as they checked out mattress comfort? Was it a place where early in the morning, young children playfully jumped, using it as a trampoline? Did a much loved pet get to sleep on the end?
These books in a long abandoned home left untouched. Were they careful purchases made in a book store after a long afternoon’s browsing? Were they bought from a catalogue and their delivery by post eagerly awaited? Were they read by the window, sitting in a gentle breeze on a summer’s afternoon, or re-read by the fire on a cold winter’s day?
This old abandoned automobile in the countryside of France. Was this Peugeot 201 a family’s pride and joy in the 1930s? Was the owner the envy of all the neighborhood? Did someone ride on the running board as it pulled into a fancy circular driveway? Did the driver struggle with the steering as they drove through the winding countryside roads?
This luggage that was confiscated then forgotten at the Western Mental Health Institute State Hospital, Bolivar, Tennessee. What precious possessions did the patients at this hospital bring with them? Why were the suitcases never collected by the owners? Did the patients spend the rest of their lives in the hospital? Why did someone have a hatbox?
All these treasured belongings became trash. Obsolete. No longer of value in someone’s life. If there is one thing I take away from these pictures, it is that in the end, material possessions can quickly become very unimportant. I still wonder what happened to the people who owned these things. Maybe that is because people are what is important – not things.