I love old photographs. My mother has boxes and boxes of them stashed away. I used to spend hours when I was young looking through her photo albums. Below is a picture of my great grandfather in his butcher shop in Amboy, IL. I'm not sure of the year.
A black and white image instantly catches my eye, and my imagination. (Yes, this is an actual photograph.)
Color photographs do to, of course, like the one below from the How to Be a Retronaut website. Can you believe this photo was taken in 1913?!
And I recently found this blog at Mental Floss, Talking Pictures: Times of Trouble. Lost photographs picked up at scrap fairs and junk shops, each with a handwritten caption, some, like the one below, more cryptic than others.
("Rock wall near Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Cal. where Dorothy found a Baby Girl on Jan. 24, 1961.")
Old photographs are just some of the things I use to inspire my stories. What about you?