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Glass from the past
January 6, 2013 - Bill Ackerbauer
Today's edition of the Sunday Leader has an article by Levi Pascher about a new effort to scan and archive a trove of ancient photographs from local museums. (You can read it here: Vintage Photographs ...)
I can only imagine how long it will take for these hundreds of images to be scanned and digitally restored — I know from personal experience that scanning these old glass-plate negatives is complicated and time-consuming. We have a few hundred of these babies in our archives at The Leader, and as with the museums' negatives, very little caption information survives.
Many of the plates were stored in paper sleeves, upon which someone might have scribbled a name or location in pencil: "Johnstown house," or "Men on outing."
Even if we never learn the identities of these ghostly people and places of yesteryear, they are worth viewing and pondering. In one of my favorites, a stocky man in a bowler hat and vest stands amid a crowd of other long-dead dudes, and he sticks out his jaw almost as if to say, "I was here." And in a way, thanks to these photographs, he still is.
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Unknown Fulton County men from a bygone era. Who were they? (From the Leader-Herald photo archives)