By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
PLATTE CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Sometimes history can be found right under our feet. One man is the example of that, after he uncovered a treasure from the past, where he least expected it.
"I had some walls where I needed to patch the hardwoods, so I was reclaiming the hardwoods off the bathroom floor," said Bob Kamler.
Kamler has lived in a home just northeast of Platte City, MO, for 10 years. Three months ago he started a major remodeling project. During it, he found newspapers lining his bathroom floor, some from as far back as 1939.
I found the old newspapers from 1939, some old magazine clippings and such," he said. "From what I've heard, it's there to block the air coming up from the basement, a vapor barrier."
He said the accidental time capsule has given him a new perspective on Kansas City's history.
"It's neat in a world where everybody, myself included, relies on technology to do research, it's cool to actually hold a piece of it. Also to know there were craftsman here who laid that down, knowing someday someone would find it," Kamler said.
Looking over the newspapers, it's easy to see things have changed in 74 years.
"No processed food in the store ads, only 16 major league baseball teams, no mention of football. There was a lot of talk about Hitler and the negativity towards him. He was not a liked person," he said. "No graphics, all cartoons and just a few pictures. The print is tiny, real hard to read...(here's) an ad for the first modern TV."
Kamler's been busy with the remodel, but he has taken time to pour over the papers.
"All my breaks, instead of "Words with Friends," I've been reading the clippings. It takes a while to digest it all and think about how they thought back then," he said. "It makes you appreciate what people did back then and it puts a personal touch to the house. Most people think houses are just a house and they slap them together. This gives it some character."
Now Kamler just needs to decide what to do with the historic papers.
"I've thought about putting them somewhere back in the house for the next guy to find," he said. "I don't think I'll line any litter boxes with them, I know that."
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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