Rockwell Archive Project

Everyone has one of those time consuming projects that isn’t difficult but it’s still something that you keep putting off. I’ve been doing this with a photo scanning project that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while now.

It started when I wrote the article My Father’s Spaceship. I scanned a few pictures that he brought home from the job to show what an aerospace shop looked like in 1960s and 1970s. But I also had a much larger stack that I didn’t scan.

Lately I’ve been meaning to change that. It’s was always a nebulous “someday thing” sort of project. So started with little chunks, and have slowly been scanning about a dozen per week (or so). I don’t have a deadline because it’s one of those spare time projects that I use to fill gaps here and there.

It’s also helped that as I’ve gotten better with Lightroom, touching up the scans is much easier.

Contact sheet showing scans of archival photos from the 1960s to 1990s.
Contact sheet showing scans of archival photos from the 1960s to 1990s.

A few technical details about the photos in this project:

  • Most are black & whites with a square photo printed on 8×10 paper.
  • Usually they were handed out to all the workers after a project was done, and showed various stages of what was built.
  • I guessing the square format is from a Hasselblad because of the era.
  • Most of the photos have some sort of project code and date at the bottom. I’m not sure if this was baked into the negative or was done during enlargement.
  • Some are almost 40 years old, and have held up remarkably well. Nothing special was done to preserve them.
  • I’ve cropped out the white border, just because it’s distracting.
  • It’s also unexpectedly emotional, as these are also family photos that have my father in them.

There’s still got a most of the stack to go, but I’ve found that scanning a few makes me want to scan more.
The stack on my desk.