I have come across various old school photos floating around the family, and I feel they are worth preserving. They are from Victoria, Australia, mostly from Melbourne, and range from the early ‘20s to the early ‘60s.
In case other people are looking for copies, I’ll list them here:
Boroondara State (Primary) School - Grade 3B 1960, Grade 4A 1961, Grade 5, 6 1962 (names available) see Boroondara State School Photos page
Bentleigh East State (Primary) School - Grade 5B (VB) 1968
Mordialloc School (Primary) – Grade 1 or 2, about 1927 or 1928 and Grade 3, about 1929
I also have photos from M.C.E.G.S. (Melbourne Grammar) 1934- 1936:
Melbourne Grammar Crew from the Head of the River rowing competition (the crews would be around 90 years of age now):
Second VIII, 1934 (Winners) (H S Moroney, I A Scales, D C Kimpton, A R Guy, P A Black, W T Robertson, J V Connard , E Campbell, N L Speirs)
First Eight, 1935 (R N Hancock, P F Fraser, H O Sternborg, E Campbell, T L W Officer, I A Scales, B F Rose, W T Robertson, J V Connard; W N Ricketts, Esq., coach)
First Crew 1936 (J P Handbury, I Scales, B F Rose, R G Allen, T L W Officer, W T Robertson, K J Laycock, K O Neuendorf, R D Meighan)
Power House Rowing Club, Novice Eight, 1936 (J Barton Jnr, I Scales, N West, J Chadwick, J Fuller, D Stewart, L Orr, D Garside, E Campbell)
Power House Maiden 8 – Winners, Henley 1937 (J Gates, I Scales, J Connard, H Barnett, M West, W Pollock, A Gaynton, F Jew, E Israel)
M.C.E.G.S. (Melbourne Grammar) House Captains, 1936 (R N Hancock, H Dowsley, I A Scales, J G Yewers, C F Long)
Melbourne High School – sometime around 1910?
Ardonachie State (Primary) School around 1940
I have been scanning the old family photos so that:
- I can correct the original exposure problems and subsequent fading/spotting or scratching
- we can enlarge the photos onscreen or in prints, to see the details of faces etc
- we can share photos easily with other family members via email, website or CDs,
- I can make CDs or DVDs of photos for archiving or display, and
- I can easily make prints to share, keep or display.
I was going to buy a scanner, but I bought a cheap Epson printer with a scanner inbuilt (for less than AU$80), and I have found this easy to use, and with great results! The software has an impressive colour restore option for those old reddish photos from the 70's, and the scanning resolution is higher than I'll ever need- I reduce it to 800dpi and still end up with huge .tif files.
To fix the exposure, I use Microsoft Picture Manager's Edit>Brightness and Contrast ( usually increasing the brightness, then maybe increasing thre contrast and/or colour saturation a bit).
To fix the old scratches and spots, I use Microsoft Photodraw (Touchup> Remove Scratch or Clone). Note- Paint.net is a free program which also has a clone tool.
I also had trouble with some of my old snapshots - in the 70's, I put lots of them into photo albums which had sticky pages with a plastic overlay. These albums were very common, and the photos looked great at the time- but when I tried to take them out now, they were stuck fast. I mangled several photos trying to prise them from the page, leaving much of the backs of the photos behind (not so good especially for the photos I'd written on the back of, all those years ago).
I finally hit on a method for getting the photos off the sticky pages with their backs intact. After peeling back the plastic film, I used a hairdryer, set on hot (low speed) to heat the back of the page behind each photo for about 12 seconds, until the photo peeled off easily. This was OK if I could get to the back of the page, though many of the photos curled a fair bit, and I had to flatten them under a pile of books. The pages with photos both sides were a problem- I just had to start with the least valued photos and heat the photos directly before peeling them off, so of course these curled more severely. I could then get to the photos on the other side from behind.
This is not the ideal way to treat old photos, but I figured it was better than tearing them or hacking them off with a craft blade, or leaving them to become even more glued on over the years (and possibly damaged by the plastic overlay).
Once I've scanned the most interesting of my old snaps, I intend to store them cheaply (but more safely) between the pages of a cheap, acid-free sketch book. The valuable family photos will be stored in archival pouches.