Photos found in old furniture from a thrift store to return to the family

May 3 (UPI) — A New York woman who bought a 120-year-old sink at a thrift store found a wealth of decades-old family photos inside the cabinet and was able to connect with the owners on social media.

Robin Bell, a Buffalo woman who regularly buys furniture at thrift stores and estate sales to restore and resell, said she recently purchased an old wooden sink from Jennifer’s Warehouse Emporium in Buffalo.

Bell said she brought the piece, which she estimates to be around 120 years old, to her home last week to begin the cleaning and restoration process.

“We opened the closet and there were all these family photos,” Bell told the Buffalo News. “And I just sat there and said, ‘I can’t throw this away. Because, you know, before Facebook and digital cameras, unless you have the negatives, they’ll never be seen again.”

The photos, which appeared to date from the 1970s and 1980s, included a framed wedding photo, high school photos and a photo that appeared to show several generations of a family at a gathering.

Bell posted photos of his discovery on Facebook, asking his followers to share them in hopes of finding the family.

Bell said a few initial leads turned out to be dead ends, but then she heard about a woman who recognized a friend’s relatives in the photos. This message led to her being contacted by a woman who identified herself in one of the high school photos.

“It was her graduation picture. And she’s a young married woman now. And she wants those pictures back,” Bell said.

The woman offered to pay postage for the photos to be returned, but Bell said she plans to hand-deliver them this week.

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