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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Need help identifying trains


Date: 12/10/18 08:42
Need help identifying trains
Author: JNrx

I am looking for someone who can help me identify trains from old photos from the late 1800's and early 1900's. Most are passenger trains, and most are electric. Many are from Pennsylvania, but also across the country.

I obtained about 200 VERY old negatives (some negatives are as large as 5X7 inches, with most of the negatives being 4X5 inches. I also have some newer slides (1960's and 1970's).

Once I can identify the trains, I can give/sell the negatives to those train enthusiasts who will appreciate these amazing photos to make prints with them.

If you can help, I will give you a percentage of the proceeds of what I sell, or give you some of the negatives as payment.

These negatives are truly a piece of history, and need to be appreciated. Please help me get them to those of us who will appreciate them like they deserve.

I can be reached at 208-699-5484 or on my email at treelandme@gmail.com








Date: 12/12/18 22:06
Re: Need help identifying trains
Author: JimBaker

Ther is a Cummer Lumber Co. near Jacksonville. Florida.
Google shows a Cummer Lumber No.7 on display.

James R.(Jim) Baker
Whittier, CA



Date: 12/27/18 20:19
Re: Need help identifying trains
Author: railscenes

Yes, great idea to share and identify this collection. After retiring from a career as trainman/conductor I volunteered at a small town museum. I also had a lifetime hobby of photography and used some of my retirement productivity fund to buy a new Apple computer with a Epson film scanner that was large enough for 8x10 negatives, but had templates to hold and scan color slides, negatives and every thing in between. This is what you need to find, a museum or print media operation where they have the resources, skill and time to make digital scans of these negatives. It takes a lot of time but is faster than working in a darkroom. Scanning the negatives produces far better images than scanning prints, especially the large format negs. 

The museum, North Lee County Historical Society in Ft Madison, IA, had a collection of 140 glass negatives in different sizes from 2x2 inch up to 5x7 taken by a medical doctor from about 1890 to 1920 along with some acetate negatives. A few were local railroad scenes but most were from all over the US. My favorite was of Teddy Roosevelt on the rear platform of a ATSF passenger train making a campaign stop in Ft Madison in 1899 while he was governor of NY and running as Vice President with McKinley.
They had been wrapped in butchers paper and some of the negs had been labeled and dated so we could figure out the rest of the story. Some were starting to fade and fog over as the chemicals used over 100 years ago were not perfect. So time and storage in a cool, dry and dark place are important. 
There are several rail related places that might be able to help. The Center for Railroad Photography and Art has been doing that work out of Madison, Wisconsin. But you might find some rail related museum close to your home. That way if you have time to work on the project you can be there and maybe help in the processing of the collection. I learned a lot during my stint doing the volunteer work like Film scanning, using a good photo program to process the negs into prints and then cataloguing into a searchable data base. We added a lot to our museum displays by printing them ourselves on 8x11 photo paper and making a few large prints. 
Thanks for sharing, Steve Rippeteau



Date: 12/28/18 00:27
Re: Need help identifying trains
Author: railscenes

Just in the last hour, while watching the news (not recommended) and Steven Colbert, I managed to make some minor improvements to the small images you have posted here. If you can have the negatives scanned with a digital film scanner the photos should come out much better than what I have done with Photoshop. I would recomend having these images scanned at a high enough level resolution (ppi) to make a decent 8x10 print. 
1. Street car #2 inverted from negative to positive. Then adjusted in "Levels" and sharpened. Then I converted it to black & white since your photo of the slide is in color. At the same time Photoshop has a conversion tool to put a slight sepia tone tint to make it look like an old print.
2. Steam Loco #12 rotated then cropped a bit and adjusted with "Levels"
3. 104 Lachoochee, (is that for real?) FL. Mounted in an old 35 mm slide mount. It would be easy to have this scanned in the mount then invert it from a negative to positive. 
Steve Rippeteau



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/28/18 00:54 by railscenes.








Date: 12/28/18 00:37
Re: Need help identifying trains
Author: railscenes

WM 239, This sad looking print may not be worth taking any more time trying to fix unless the negative looks a lot better, if you have a negative. Or unless someone is really interested in the Western Maryland. 
I would also recomend learning some basic photo editing skills like rotating the photo and using a cheap photo scanner for the prints. Some photo scanners include a small 35 mm slide and negative scanner too. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/28/18 00:48 by railscenes.




Date: 12/28/18 10:31
Re: Need help identifying trains
Author: JimBaker

One thing we do at the Pacific Railroad Society Museum when scanning negatives is to ensure the emulsion side if the film is placed face down on the scanner glass to get the best focus of the photo.

James R.(Jim) Baker
Whittier, CA



Date: 12/30/18 02:47
Re: Need help identifying trains
Author: railscenes

Jim: It may depend on the scanner used. The digital FILM scanners that I have used, designed to scan negatives and positives, state in the instructions to scan with the emulsion side up to get the best focus, as the scan is done thru the transparency instead of reflecting off the photo. Flat bed digital print scanners may differ from the FILM scanners that I have experience with. Yes when I volunteered at the museum in Ft Madison, IA we had a person hired by mistake thru a program to employ people 55 and older who decided I knew nothing, plus failing to read the instructions ended up wasting a lot of time trying scan the glass negatives with the digital FILM scanner in print mode with the emulsion side down. It did not work well. The man had never done any type of photo work.
This is why I suggested that this person requesting help find people who are skilled at digital FILM scanning, plus knowledge of railroads. Otherwise he may end up wasting a lot of time.
Steve Rippeteau  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/30/18 02:53 by railscenes.



Date: 12/30/18 11:51
Re: Need help identifying trains
Author: JimBaker

Steve,
My limitation was just with photo scanners with a light in the lid and scanned from the base onto glass.
Your view is absolutely correct for Film Scanners.

James R.(Jim) Baker
Whittier, CA



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