In the art world a "found object" is something that wasn't intended to be artistic, but can be appreciated as art in the right context. The same is true for artifacts that weren't intended to be historic, but in the passage of time become so.
By coincidence two local collectors with a passion for Sacramento history are independently sharing old snapshots, postcards, advertising and other found ephemera on the social media sites Facebook and Tumblr.
Vintage Sacramento, maintained by graphic designer Will Peterson, "was created so that we can share memories of our city." Most of the items on the site were picked up over the years at "garage sales and flea markets." Peterson says he developed an interest in Mid-century Modern architecture and design from having grown up in an Eichler-style Streng home near American River College. Vintage Sacramento is heavy on photos of the city from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Sacramento History is hosted by Anthony Cathey who's "been seriously collecting for about a decade," scouring "online auction sites and area antique stores" for the odd, but interesting item. Cathey generally adds two or three images a week to his Tumblr site which is filled with vintage black-and-white snapshots, colorful postcards and the occasional menu, coin or receipt. This collection tips toward the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Both Cathey and Peterson see the value of displaying their treasures with the public rather than keeping them shut in a box. They encourage their readers to post comments and their own scanned items to the sites.
PHOTO CREDIT: Unidentified woman enjoying downtown Sacramento on July 4, 1918. Photo contributed to The Bee's History User Photos by D. Clegg