LaPorte, Indiana

As an editor and co-founder of Found and Dirty Found, Jason Bitner has made a career of sifting through the ephemera of our daily lives. He’s given us the chance to become voyeurs of the most mundane variety — and boy, do we fascinate in the grocery lists, love letters, and Post-It scrawls that turn up on the pages of his magazines. It was no small find, however, when Bitner stumbled across a forgotten archive of more than 18,000 portrait photographs depicting LaPorte, Indiana’s mid–20th century residents.

Gathered in this book are compellingly familiar photographs of young and old, the comely as well as the curious-looking. Page through and find the self-conscious teenager, the stiff newlyweds, the proud military man. Notice the startled stare of an infant, the bright and hopeful eyes of a young girl, the shaded mystery of a down-turned glance and the tenderness in the gesture of one elderly man adjusting the tie of his friend. Look into the faces of the heartland, into the eyes of the everyman and everywoman, and as Bitner says in the intro, find yourself.