This image is a wonderful representation of why we work on image preservation. It is part of a collection of glass negatives of classes at the Barrett school circa 1910, shortly after the brick building was constructed. The negatives are sharp and well composed, showing group after group of the children of Hood River valley in their school photo finest.
Unfortunately, many of the negatives have started to show their age. This sort of damage is called "silvering." Metallic silver in the photographic emulsion oxidizes and migrates to the surface of the emulsion. This leaves a silvery sheen on the surface, and since no light can penetrate it appears as a ghostly white area on the scan.
There are some techniques for physically or chemically removing silvering from negatives, but they can also badly damage the negative. Since we do not have expertise with these techniques, we leave the negatives as is. So unless we find a print of this negative or manage to reverse the damage, this Monday mystery will remain unknown: who are those faces lost to the silvering?
So, you are able to still scan the photo, but you have to leave the damage in the scan?
A remarkably clear photo. Clearer than many of today's.
l.e. on 16th April 2012 @ 7:47am
I thought perhaps the teacher resembled Newton Clark, the surveyor, but I can't find that he taught at Barrett School.
l.e. on 16th April 2012 @ 8:19am
The scanner, just like traditional photographic printing techniques, transmits light through the negative. The metallic sheen on this negative blocks light completely in some areas. There may be more of the image trapped in the emulsion below, but we can't get to it.
Arthur on 16th April 2012 @ 9:22am
Interesting to see the "dress code" for the time...dark socks, mid-length dresses, high necks, jackets with shirts not necessarily tucked in, ties optional. Significantly more girls than boys.....boys dropped out to work in the log pond? Wonder what has caught the teacher's eye......Sorry that the clock is ticking for these photos......scanning now is truly preservation work.
Arlen Sheldrake on 16th April 2012 @ 10:51am
This is from the Hood River County Sun, Nov. 24, 1937 by Gladys Hinrichs and her memories of the Barrett School. I thought I would put it here because 15 students are listed and I think there are 15 in the photograph. Eight girls and seven boys.
The brick building was built in 1910 and I can't tell from the article if the first graduation took place in the brick building.
The first eighth grade graduation exercise was held while Mr. Barnes was principal; pupils in this graduation class were: Flora Wilson, Arvilla Poore, Orpha and Audrey Markley -- twins, Edith Moore, Stella Richardson, Grace Upton, Mae Borman, Frank Gibbons, Tom Bishop, Max and Ralph Henrichs, Bert Kelly, Byron Smith, and Alfred Ingals.
l.e. on 16th April 2012 @ 11:24pm
My company has developed a multispectral imaging system for conservation. We have had some really great results with de-silvering of old negatives. Our process purely digital and is non invasive and chemical free. We provide scientific grade digital files for study and print print. You can contact us though our website www.howellmsi.com/ or call at 207-591-5770.
Derek on 16th May 2012 @ 12:58pm