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Historic old family film discovered

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:38:54 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 15 2014 10:01:20 PM CDT

An old 8mm family movie discovered in Bristol reveals the beginnings of New York's World Trade Center.

BRISTOL, Va. -

You'd have to go back a couple of generations to know about old eight-millimeter home movies.  It was the precursor of the camcorder.

But these old films hold precious family memories that can be shared with new generations.

And they're also recorders of history. Such is the case when a Bristol man started going through his families old movies. What he found was the early stages of the World Trade Center construction.

It may look like an old movie of a trip to New York City, and it is. But the reason for the trip and the images it captured turn out to be a look back in time when one of the world's largest construction projects was just getting underway: New York City's World Trade Center.

"I was working at Atlas Machine and Iron Works at that time on the World Trade Center, and they took us all up on a bus," Kyle Blevins, Sr. remembers.

A trip that his son couldn't remember as he looked through all of his families old movies. "As I went through the box I see one that said New York. I thought, 'I don't ever remember going to New York as a kid.' So I got it out and put it in and it came on and it started showing New York, and then it started showing the World Trade Center. I recognized it from the TV footage," Kyle Blevins, Jr. says.

But it's barely out of the ground yet and also footage of the architects model of how it would look once completed. And for the senior Blevins, it was personal seeing the buildings collapse in 2001. "It was a sad feeling, a very sad feeling. In fact, I don't even like to see it on television anymore when they show it," Mr. Blevins said.

It's a special connection that many who had anything to do with constructing the twin towers have.  But not many have pictures of a trip to New York City to see it being built.

"I thought about taking the reel after I'd put it on DVD and send it up to the historical museum at the site that they've got now and part of the history that we can give back," the younger Blevins says.

A piece of history that may have been otherwise lost.