High-school photography teacher Ron Taylor bought a 1940s film canister on a whim, but it eventually brought history into focus for his students.
Taylor picked up the canister for $5 at an antiques shop but didn't know it contained undeveloped film until he saw a small strip of 35mm film poking out of a slit. He brought it back to show his class in Clifton Park, 15 miles north of Albany.
With technical advice from Kodak representatives, the class opened the canister, removed the film and developed the negatives. After enhancing the images with a computer, students saw 21 shots that appeared to be from a World War II tour in France: the Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, aerial shots of exploding flak and soldiers.
Kevin Powers, 18, was especially intrigued when he helped develop the film because he found a glimpse into U.S. history.
"It's just exciting. You've got something from the past nobody's seen in 40 or 50 years," he said.