Dr Darrell Crain Jr was a rheumatologist and lifelong Washingtonian who died in 1995. Now his photos of some of the 20th Century's defining moments are having a second life.
"He liked to take pictures," Alice Makl, Dr Crain's granddaughter says. "He was drawn to historical events."
This past December, Makl took a closet full of photo slides left after Crain died almost 20 years ago, scanned them and uploaded them online.
Crain's photography - especially of the March on Washington in 1963 and of the destruction and grief in Washington DC after Martin Luther King Jr died - caught the attention of some historical and photography blogs.
The colour photos of everyday people in historical events struck a nerve. "This collection is not to be missed," Old Time DC wrote.
"Incredible," Ghosts of DC echoed.
Now Crain's photos will be part of DC Public Library's Washingtoniana collection.
Crain didn't start the hobby until his late 30s, Makl says, when he purchased his first colour camera.
It was 1947 and photography was a more expensive hobby then, but his granddaughter says that didn't force him into a formal style of photography.
"He had a great eye for composition," she says. "he was interested in photographing people."
Makl says a set of photos from the 1968 Resurrection City protest on the National Mall are "particularly startling".
The protest was a multi-week encampment built on the Mall to call attention to the plight of poor people. It was originally organised by Martin Luther King Jr before his assassination.
But more than anything, Makl is glad her grandfather's four-decade long hobby is gaining recognition.
"It would please my grandfather so much to know there's been so much interest in his work," she says.