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.

[caption id=“attachment_2027” align=“aligncenter” width=“656”]

Contact sheet showing scans of archival photos from the 1960s to 1990s.[/caption]

A few technical details about the photos in this project:

  • Most are black & whites with a square photo printed on 8x10 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.