Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas 1966



My younger brother, Mike, and I, Christmas 1966 (I think).  The dog’s name was Irish, as befitting the Irish field setter that she was.

The picture was taken in my parents’ first little house on Cottonwood Drive in Jenison, Michigan by my mom using her old  (then new) Brownie box camera (I know my mom took this picture, because all the pictures from this period taken by my dad had his finger over the lens, making them easy to identify – it’s a running joke in my family).  The original print has long faded into oblivion, but my mom kept the negatives all these years.  A while back the film was damaged in a fire, this on top of 40 years of fading and degradation of the film stock.   A couple of years ago I scanned them into digital format using an HP transparent materials scanner and found that the silver nitrate and the fixatives used back then had shifted the negative’s color far to the red over the years.  The negatives were scratched and damaged and dusty and some just weren’t recoverable.  But I ran what I could through  Corel’s Paintshop Photo Pro using the restoration tools package, this was one of those pictures.  It’s a little dark, but that’s typical of the old format and the flash bulbs used to illuminate the shot (if you’re too young to remember rotary dial phones and flash bulbs, well you can look forward to telling your kids about MP3 players and the wild wooly days of unregulated internet service).

Merry Christmas, Folks.


  1. We did this for 5 trays of slides only we took digital pictures then processed them through photo shop. We put them on a card in a digital picture frame.

  2. Rotary dial phones and party lines.

    And flashbulbs too.

    Going thru the photos and slides and scanning and cleaning up is on my list of things to do, but it's such a huge job.

  3. Roll film with paper. 120, 220, 620. You gotta be a manly type of photographer to risk ruin by holding a spool with the film in the open light, protected only by a paper wrapping. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  4. I got a dark room kit in the 50s, roll film with paper and a contact printer.

    I also remember Press 40s and 80s, which were flash bulbs that screwed into a medium Edison right handed socket. (even today the standard light bulb base).

  5. TV shows on three networks and PBS, and all were off the air at midnight.

    I had a little Brownie camera for a short while in elementary school. I don't remember what happened to it. Probably my parents took it when they were too broke to buy their own.

    I miss rotary dial phones. I don't miss party lines. All those different rings on a phone and two-thirds of them were for the neighbors! Plus, my grandparents had neighbors who picked up the phone to snoop.

  6. I managed to gain access to my parent's drawer full of slides, negatives and prints. It took me months, but I managed to get them all scanned. I’ve posted a lot of them in my photo albums on my FB page. I love family history and I'm avid about sharing pictures. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us Jim!


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