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Picture This - Vintage Collection A Labor Of Love
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A teacher at Ustach Middle School who lives in Riverbank, Eric Bjerke Sr. loves history and photography and after developing an interest in vintage pictures, has come to collecting and even selling them on the Internet.

As a member of the Modesto Camera Club, he takes care of the club's website, he said. When a Modesto woman e-mailed the site asking if it could help get rid of her 95-year-old grandfather's photographic items, Bjerke skimmed through the carousels of slides of places like Paris, England and Holland in 1949 and found lots to interest him.

"I love history and I love nostalgia so I had to take a look," he said. "I found a number of cool shots of well-known locations like the Arc de Triomphe, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Amsterdam and Venice. I loved looking at the cars, people and signage from so long ago."

Bjerke saved the rest of the 95-year-old's slides from the Dumpster and estimated he had more than 30,000 slides strewn about his house.

Eventually, he discovered he could find old slides and negatives online and started collecting others that were not in his original haul. Now he asks anyone he knows if they have any old slides they wish to pass on and has become quite a collector.

If they are particularly interesting to him, he sends them out to be scanned by a professional. When he gets the digital copies back, he crops and edits them on Photoshop. With some he hardly alters anything and with others he makes a lot of changes.

Bjerke decided to start selling the images when he received very positive reactions from posting some on his Facebook page. Now he has a Facebook page dedicated to the business he calls e.b.vintage and has linked that page with an store that he also named e.b.vintage.

He posts at least one new image per day on his Facebook page and sometimes more than that in the Etsy Store.

The store offers "original art images" of both European and American cities and other nostalgic photos of the past suitable for home or office decor or gifts.

Images range from figures passing the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in 1940 to cars cramming Piccadilly Circus in London in 1949 to a woman standing in the rain in New Orleans in 1959 and people surrounding a crop duster plane in Holland in the 1950s.

There also are "bathing beauties" in Atlantic City from the 1930s, firefighters in 1959, Brownies raising a flag in 1959, a boy with his dog and gun in the 1940s, an almost carless Golden Gate Bridge and a 1970s shot from Barbados showing a woman holding up a flying fish.