Thursday, February 03, 2005

Millionth Visitor to the CPRR Museum

Just moments ago, the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum website received its millionth visitor!

We expected that the website in memory of great-great-grandfather Lewis Metzler Clement illustrated by period photographs would be a fairly obscure topic, but have been amazed and delighted that our on-line museum has become such a popular source of information about the Pacific Railroad.

It has been most gratifying to have so many people contribute to this growing effort. Thanks for all your help and generous contributions over the past six years!

P.S. ... If you have additional 19th century material or photographs relating to the transcontinental railroad that you would like to see on the web, we would be delighted to be able to include your contribution – please consider this an open invitation. (Just as incredible as the number of visitors is the technological advancement over the past six years in the speed and capacity of the Internet. Even as the CPRR Museum's content has grown to a gigabyte of historic images, articles, etc. available at, utilization is now at only 2% of the even faster growing storage capacity, so there is essentially unlimited room to add additional historic content!)

Scanning 19th Century Albumen Prints with DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology


We purchased an EPSON Perfection 4870 Photo Scanner in the hopes of using [Kodak's] DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology to remove the fine surface cracks that are present in all 19th century albumen prints and which significantly degrade the quality of such scans.

An example of how badly scans of high quality images are degraded by these ubiquitous cracks can be seen on [a] 1,200 dpi scan ...

Unfortunately, because the cracks are of a much smaller scale than the macroscopic defects in cracked prints for which your software apparently is optimized, automatic defect removal just does not currently work. The microscopic cracks are well within the 4,800 dpi resolution of the Epson scanner, but the software does not correctly identify these as defects to repair. No reason is apparent why your method of doing a double scan with different lighting angles should not work equally as well at the smaller scale needed to remove these surface cracks

We hope that the DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology could easily repair the fine cracks seen in albumen prints, if the parameters of your algorithm could be adjusted by the user for the microscopic size of the cracks, or if a "fine surface cracks" option could be added to the software.

Would Kodak be willing to attempt to make DIGITAL ICE Photo Print Technology useful for scanning 19th century albumen prints? Most museums and libraries have 19th century photographic prints in their collections, so making Kodak's software work to automatically repair historic albumen print images would be extremely helpful. ...