People believe that this photograph, taken in 1941 at the re-opening of the South Forks Bridge in Gold Bridge, Canada, is showing a man in seemingly modern clothing and style, with a camera that is advanced well beyond its time. The circle on the right shows the man called “The Traveling Hipster”.
While the identities of both the photographer and ‘the hipster’ depicted in the image are unknown, the location and year was noted on the back of the photo saying: “Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in Nov. 1940. 1941”. The photo currently belongs to the virtual collection of the Bralorne Pioneer Museum in British Columbia, Canada.
The photo was made available for public viewing to museum visitors in 2004 and presented as part of the exhibit Bralorne-Pioneer: Their Past Lives Here. The exhibit was digitally uploaded online for public consumption in February 2010.
The photo was posted to Fark and Above Top Secret on March 22nd, 2010, but did not gain much attention until it was posted on Forgetomori.com on April 15th, 2010. The article argued against the widespread assumption that the photo was fake and supported its authenticity with artifacts originating from the same era, such as a pair of sunglasses worn in the 1944 film Double Indemnity. It has also been speculated that the logo on his shirt is a collegiate-style letter “M” – the logo of the Montreal Maroons hockey team, active in the NHL from 1924-1938.
On April 16th, 2010 the image was posted to BoingBoing and was posted on Gizmodo the next day. On May 5th, 2010, news of the “time traveling hipster” reached FreeWilliamsburg, Brooklyn’s hipster-centric culture guide.
Alternate Angle Shot
On April 20th, 2010, Forgetomori.com posted an update with another picture found in the John Wihksne Collection with the note “Opening of the new bridge at South Fork (1940).” Taken from a different angle, the young man still remains visible in the photograph.
In December 2010, Evgeni Balamutenko and his colleague from NTV in Russia located the original photograph and with the help of a museum staff member, it was determined that the photograph was real.