View Full Version : cleaning old glass plates
Eugene Mc Hugh
my friend and I managed to rescue about 30 boxes of assorted glass plates from a n old house about to be pulled down unfortinatily many of the boxes were damp an d many of the plates were damaged, our biggest problem now is how to clean and s tabilise them , the plates vary in size from 3 and a quarter by 4 and a quarter to 6 by 7 inch approx 50 to 60 years old since many of the images are of people here in our hom e town of killybegs our intention is to scan them to print and display for the b enifit of those who may never have seen their own picture or that of their frien ds
I forwarded your question to a friend who runs the photo section of the Northest Territories archives and deals a lot with old photographs and processes of all sorts.
If he manages to get back to me, I'll let you know.
I would imagine there are some pretty interesting images in there.
Damaged in what way, emulsion coming off os smashes or cracked glass? Either way the plates themselves are probably gonners, however you may be able to salvage them. Simply make copy negatives onto the largest film format you can. Then print and re-touch the new prints, alternativly, you could contact a large national museum, or other archive, they should know what to do. Hope this is in some way useful.
Eugene, I have just got through salvaging some 1930's 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" plates which I took as a teenager. I simply photographed them at macro with a digital camera and worked on them with Adobe PhotoDeluxe. Several had missing emulsion at the edges, but this can be cloned quite easily, and I'm no expert, believe me. Now if someone's face is in the missing bit, well you have a problem !! But dirt and scratches go easily, and fading or bloom are no problem. Just don't expect to get what isn't there unless you're good at the cloning tool, Peter.
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