My Grandfather’s Oak Toolbox and Farm Hand-tool Collection

20160608-031-ToolBoxAn item in my bucket list is: Clean up your,stuff – don’t leave that to those who come after you! That leads to a story. In 1911 my grandfather married my grandmother and moved to a small farm in Clarksburg, Mass. They kept two or three cows, some chickens, and a vegetable garden. The farm supplemented my grandfather’s income from work in a cotton mill. They lived there until my grandfather died in 1957 leaving me the tool box and the 125 basic farm hand tools.  Following my biucket list, I have decided that its time to sell the box on eBay.

Their age is uncertain. Presumably the collection was started in 1911 and new items were added and some were replaced as they wore out. The tool box, which I think is made of oak, is incredibly strong and well constructed. It has a heavy latch and carrying handles and a large tray for smaller items.The dimensions are: outside 40″ wide, 15″ deep, 14″ high; inside: 36″ wide, 11″deep, 12″ high. The contents are exactly the same as they were when he died. The photos show the tool box and its contents. The contents include a large ax head; a hatchet; a mallet; hammers and saws many descriptions; a vice, which I remember fastened to his workbench; trowels; wire cutters; planes; a level, numerous clamps, bits, files, and wedges; scissors; various measuring tools; and the list goes on. To me, this collection has historic value. It is well documented and represents the basic set of hand tools needed to maintain a farm in the first half of the twentieth century.

I am not a collector, but I believe some of the individual items could be valuable collectors items. The tool box alone is likely to be able to survive another 100 years of hard usage. The entire set weighs over 200 pounds so I have listed it for local pickup, but would be willing to work with the
buyer on shipping arrangements.

Here are high resolution images of the toolbox and the 125 items in the collection.

Historic Photo of Confederate Solders in Frederick (Revised 2014)

Confederate Soldiers in Frederick, MarylandThis is a revised version of a 2012 blog post.  It is more detailed and places the soldiers on Patrick Street instead of Market Street.

I want to share a different way viewing the historic photograph, Confederate Soldiers in Frederick. The photo shows the soldiers in September 1862 as they march through Frederick, MD on the way to the battle of Antietam. The original is a beautiful sepia tone print in the archives of  HSFC where I am a volunteer. I obtained the black and white electronic copy in this blog courtesy of the HSFC.  I heavily sharpened it to show many interesting details.  Except for that, I did not alter the content in any way.  The enhanced image drawn, as a “photo overlay”, in a three-dimensional Google Earth map of  contemporary Frederick, MD.  The overlay allows you to view the scene as the photographer saw it through the lens of his camera.

Using Google Earth

If you want to view the picture in Google Earth, download the Google Earth (kml) map file and open it in Google Earth.  If you don’t have the Google Earth application installed on you computer, get it free at the Google Earth website. When the file opens, you will see the “Confederates in Frederick” link in the Places/Temporary Places panel. Double click on the “Confederates in Frederick” link to display information about the presentation.  Click on the “Information” link for important set up instructions and hints about using Google Earth.

If you just want to see the results, this blog has pictures and map image captures that give you a feel for what you can see in Google Earth.

Reconstructing the Historic Photo

I will write about how I used clues in the photo to position and align the camera and embed the image in a contemporary three-dimensional Google Earth rendering of Frederick.  Later on, I will show some fascinating details from the photo.  Before diving into the details, double-click on the “Historic Photo” link to get a preview of the result.

Lee’s Strategy

The next link, “Lee’s Route to Antietam” displays the area included in Lee’s march before the battle. There are many sources of information about the battle including a very informative review of Lee’s strategy in late 1862. Area View  It has an excellent map showing Lee’s Invasion of Maryland and the Union response over the September 3-13, 1862 time period.  Frederick was in  a strategic location. Lee’s goal was to ” keep the enemy occupied north of the Potomac until the approach of winter would make an enemy advance into Virginia difficult”. After crossing the Potomac near White’s Ford (the “Places” folder at the bottom has a list of Google Earth Placemarks in alphabetical order), the main part of the Army of Northern Virginia reached Frederick by September 7. About 45,000 confederate troops camped in and around Frederick mostly to the south near the Best farm,  which later become a focal point of the Battle of Monocacy.  On September 10, Lee’s army left Frederick to execute the plan that led to the bloody battles of South Mountain and Antietam. It was probably this day that the photograph was  taken.

Location

The sign for Rosenstock’s  Dry Goods and Clothing store is in the foreground.   The store was at the northeast corner of Market and Patrick Streets.  I expected to find the name in the 1859 Frederick Md Directory which I described in an earlier post. Surprisingly, there is no reference to the Rosenstock store or family even though they had been in business since 1855. I am still puzzled by this strange omission. Happily, the Historical Society provided me with the missing information. Two useful references are the “History of Frederick County Maryland, Volume 1” and “The Citizen. Historical and Industrial Edition”, Frederick City MD., September 30, 1904. It was by Joseph Rosenstock and later run by his sons, Aaron and Jacob. SignI have not yet found any other photos or descriptions of the store so I can’t find the exact location of the sign.  It could be anywhere in front of the store on either Patrick or Market street. However, the structure behind the sign at the right edge of the photo provides a clue.  The detail shows how the sign was attached to the structure .  P0241-sharpenedThe downward slanting beams behind the sign were probably supports for an awning in front of the store. The structure is probably a porch (or boardwalk) in front of the store.  The sign is fastened to the end of the porch and projects out into the street.  Historical lore and other clues in the photo place the location of the photo on Patrick street. From this, the most likely location is just east of 5 East Patrick Street, near the corner of the store. Back in Google Earth double-click the “Market and Patrick Street” link to show the area near the Market and Patrick Street corner. The figure Market And Patrick shows other features that I will discuss later. Now check the box next to the Pittar Map item to show a map overlay that is a detail from the Pittar Map drawn later in the century. It shows the map in the area near the corner. Overlay Most relevant to this discussion are Rosenstock’s store and the dotted lines along front of it. There are similar lines in front of the building north of the corner at 12-18 North Market Street. I believe these represent covered porches or boardwalks in front of the two buildings.  This is consistent with my  interpretation of the location of structure in the photo.

The Soldiers

What were the soldiers in the photo doing when photographer opened the shutter?  Take a look at the detail showing who I think is probably the smartest man in the unit.  Resting ManHe is in foreground slightly to the left of center.  Unlike the other men in the unit, he did not believe in carrying his weapon unless it is absolutely necessary.  He is resting with his rifle butt on the ground.  This tells me that the unit has halted, which would have been necessary for cameras at that time.   Another detail, shows three men, two in front and one at the back, staring directly into the camera. Something, probably the photographer yelling or waving, must have attracted their attention. So there we have it, one unknown unit from Robert E. Lee’s force of 45, 000 on the way to bloodiest battle in American history paused briefly on the streets of Frederick to be recorded in this historic photo.Detail 1

The Camera

From the angle of the shot, the camera must have been located above and to the right rear of the unit. This would place it on the north side of East Patrick Street to the east of Rosenstock’s store. It must have been located in an upper story window or on a roof.   In Google Earth, click on the “Photo Reconstruction” link to show the area near the camera.   Photo Reconstruction After some trial and error, I chose a camera location so that the alignment of the sign, the troops, and background in the reconstruction matches the photo.  I chose a point near 11 East Patrick Street at the second floor level, but the camera could be between 9 and 13 and it could be somewhat higher.  So far I have not found pictures or drawings that show the building layout at that location.  I can’t be sure whether the  Pittar map still applies to the layout in 1862. Having the layout information would help locate the camera more precisely. After setting the camera location, the next step in the process is to set the camera tilt angle, bearing and view angles. The red lines in the figure show the camera bearing and view angles projected on to the ground. I can determine the bearing fairly accurately because the gutter in the background must line up with the direction of the street. I adjusted the view angles until the size looked right and adjusted the tilt angle to place the background near the southeast corner of Patrick and Market.

The last step is to tell Google Earth where to place the image in the three-dimensional rendering of the scene. Google Earth renders the image like a billboard at the selected location.  I used the special rendering shown in the figure to make some fine adjustments.  I set the distance from the camera to the image to position it near the southeast corner of Market and Patrick Streets.  As I will mention again later, I interpret the erect figure in the background as a sentry posted near the corner.  I made a fine adjustment in the tilt angle to render his image at ground level.  The part of the structure within the view angle and in front of the rendered image appears in the background of the photo.  It housed the historic Red Men’s Hall. The final rendering, not shown in this figure, was placed closer to the camera at a point near the “Foreground” marker.  The two men in the center near the bottom of the photo were standing near that marker.  The base of the sign is clipped off in the photo and must have been located closer to the camera.

Perspective View

The next scene is a perspective view placed in a contemporary three-dimensional rendering of the Perspective Viewcorner.  In Google Earth, turn off the map layer by un-checking the box next to “Pittar Map” and checking “3D Buildings” in the “Layers” panel.  Then double-click the “Perspective View” link. This picture shows the relative positions of the camera, the sign, and the solders in the foreground of the picture. Google Earth constructs this view by combining satellite and Google Street View images.  The green patches in the foreground are actually satellite images of the beautiful trees that line the city streets.  Frederick for the last 25th years has been designated as a “Tree City U.S.A”.

 Through The Photographers Eyes

Double click on the “Photographer’s View” link to show the result.   A contemporary three-dimensionalPhotographers View rendering of the south side of Patrick Street is in the background. In the distance, Patrick Street becomes Md. Route 144, Old National Pike, which leads to Antietam. The corner location where Rosenstock’s store stood is in the foreground at the left. In the middle is the reconstruction of the scene viewed through the eyes of the photographer when he captured this unknown unit on its way to join in this historic battle. This completes the reconstruction, but there is much more to be said about the content of the photo.

Details

Go back to the “Historic Photo” link and double-click.  This turns on a Google Earth feature that allows you to zoom and pan through the photo and look at details some of which I will point out here.  When you double-click, the zoom and pan control appears in the upper right.

The Background Area

Look at the background area at the top right of the photo.  At the right of the photo, the gutter that P0241-corner-2parallels Patrick Street appears to bend off to the left.  I interpret that point as the corner of Patrick and Market.  I interpret the erect figure standing nearby as a sentinel posted to  guard the intersection. To the left of the sentinel there appears to be a figure seated on the ground.  Is he lost or strayed from his unit?  Is the figure standing at his left and leaning over him asking questions, yelling at him, or both?  We will never know the ending of this little drama accidentally caught in the photographers lens. I interpret the structure in the left background to be the building on the southeast corner across from P0241-sitting-2Rosenstock’s store.  Unfortunately, so far I have not found any clear photographs or drawings of the building so I can not compare the real building to the fuzzy shapes in the photo. There seem to be two figures in the center background, seated on steps or a porch in front of the structure.   What was their business in Frederick?  Perhaps they were driving supply wagons and had stopped to give way to the more glamorous fighting troops.

 The Marchers

Detail 3

This photo, according to an interesting discussion in the Civil War Education Association Facebook page, is the only known photo of Army of Northern Virginia troops in the field as combatants. It shows authentic details about the uniform and equipment of fully armed and equipped Confederate  troops. For example, here is a detail showing a soldier wearing what appears to be a blanket roll over his shoulders. Unfortunately, I  know very little about that subject so I will not attempt to point go further.  One thing that did catch my attention is the hats! I expected to see the broad-brimmed hats on the officers and uniform caps like the one in the third row from the bottom.  I did not expect toP0241-hats-2-2 all the other hat styles in the picture.  I was looking at a hat store full of styles. Look at the man forth from the left near the middle. What a hat!

The Two Solders

As I look more and more at the picture searching for details and clues, I realize it has a profound story to tell. Life for everyone in the picture stood still for the brief seconds it took to capture this image, but for them everything is about to irreversibly change .  It is impossible to understand the raw statistics of the battle they are about to enter: total number of troops, total number of killed, total wounded.  It was an incomprehensible slaughter. This photo allows us to think about individual soldiers.  I often think  the faces of two men at the bottom just to the left of the sign.  The photographer captured them gazingDetail - Two Men curiously directly at the camera.  They look barely old enough to shave. They stand near the rear of the unit close together, but slightly separated from the others.  I imagine that they are brothers.  Are they new recruits who have just joined their unit? I don’t think their officers appreciate their show of curiosity. I know that they, with the other solders in the photo, will soon be engaged in the bloodiest battle in American history.  I wonder what happened to them. Because nations always send their youngest men to fight their battles, sadly when they die, they leave this world with wives never embraced, children never born, whole lives never lived. Their backward look at Frederick could be the last time their eyes fell on any civilized place.  I hope their fate was different. I hope they survived the war, lived long and prolific lives, and now have hundreds of descendants wondering what their ancestor did in the war.

A Work in Progress

I have tried to present enough details about the reconstruction process to show that my results are reasonable.  However, much remains to be done.  I am looking for more information about the area around the corner of Market and Patrick Streets. I would love to see photos or drawings that show the nearby buildings as they existed when the photo was taken. I am also hoping that there is some clue in the photo that would help narrow down the identity of the unit.  Did someone see the photo being taken and write about it?  There are theories about who the photographer was, but no one knows can be sure.   Are their more photos around somewhere?  What photographer is satisfied with just one photo? I hope you enjoy this way of viewing history. I would appreciate any comments that add to the story or correct any details I have wrong.

Historic Photo of Confederate Solders in Frederick (2012)

Confederate Soldiers in Frederick, MarylandA more detailed and heavily revised version of this has been posted. I want to share a different way viewing the historic photograph of Confederate Soldiers in Frederick. The photo shows the soldiers as they prepare to march toward the Antietam battleground. It is embedded in a three-dimensional Google Earth map overlaid on a contemporary view of Frederick, MD.  The overlay allows you to view the scene as the photographer saw it through the lens of his camera.  The photo, which was obtained courtesy of the HSFC, was taken in 1862 from Rosenstock’s Dry Goods and Clothing store which was located at the northeast corner of Market and Patrick Street.

Loading the Map on Your Computer

To get started, you need to download the Google Earth (kml) map file and open it in Google Earth.  If you don’t have the free Google Earth application installed on you computer, go to the Google Earth website for instructions. Once you open the presentation, double click on the “Confederates in Frederick” link to display a balloon with further information and instructions.

Historical Background

Here is a link to a very informative review of Lee’s strategy in late 1862.   It contains an excellent map showing Lee’s Invasion of Maryland and the Union response over the September 3-13, 1862 time period.  It shows that Frederick occupied a critical location. Lee’s objective was to ” keep the enemy occupied north of the Potomac until the approach of winter would make an enemy advance into Virginia difficult”. After crossing the Potomac near White’s Ford, the main portion of the Army of Northern Virginia reached Frederick by September 7. About 45,000 confederate troops camped in and around Frederick mostly to the south near the Best farm,  which later become a focal point of the Battle of Monocacy.  On September 10, Lee’s army left Frederick to execute the plan that led to the bloody battles of South Mountain and Antietam. It was probably this day that the photograph was  taken.

Viewing the Historic Photo

Back in the Google Earth presentation. Zoom out to about 50,000 feet to show the area to the South of Frederick where the Monocacy river crosses  the Urbana Pike.  This is the general location of the Confederate campgrounds. No one knows the exact routes of individual units  on September 10, but the main axis of the Confederate movement was north on the Urbana Pike, which becomes Market Street, then west on Patrick Street, which becomes the Old National  Pike.

Now double click on the “Rosenstocks Store” label, which marks the location of the camera.   Google Earth will fly to corner of Market and Patrick streets viewed from above. It goes without saying that the map shows contemporary Frederick; the original buildings were replaced long ago.  The historic record shows that the northeast corner was occupied by Rosenstock’s  Dry Goods and Clothing store which was founded in 1855 by Joseph Rosenstock and later run by his sons, Aaron and Jacob. Across the street was the Frederick County Bank and next door to the bank were the offices of the weekly Herald Newspaper.  Further north on Market Street were a variety of stores and shops. The historic Red Men’s Hall occupied the southeast corner across Patrick Street from the store.

The marker labeled “Camera View” is located at the approximate position of the camera.  The camera was located above street level, either on an upper floor or the roof of the store.  It was pointed north up Market Street.  Double click on the “Camera View” label to see the image as the photographer saw it through the lens of his camera.  The markers labeled “Left Edge” and “Top Edge” mark the edges of the photo as seen in this view.

Finally, double click on the “Historic Photo” label to activate the Google Earth photo viewer.  Using the controls in the top right of the window, you can zoom and pan through the photo.

A Close Examination of the Photo

The original photo is in the archives of the Historical Society of Frederick County Maryland where I volunteer  I am grateful to the HSFC for allowing me to use the image and for providing much of the historical background used here. Please contact the HSFC for information on how to obtain additional printed or digital copies. Beyond its place in the history of Frederick, this photo, according to an interesting discussion in the Civil War Education Association Facebook page, is the only known photo of Army of Northern Virginia troops in the field as combatants. It shows authentic details about the uniform and equipment of fully armed and equipped Confederate  troops. Very little more is known about the photo. We don’t know which unit the soldiers in the photo belonged to or the exact route they followed through town.  We know from the photo  that the unit has halted heading north on Market Street about a half block beyond Patrick Street, which would be their most direct route to the West.  We know that they were part of the incredibly complex operation of moving 45,000 soldiers into  battle.  Perhaps they were waiting until Lee’s officers in the background decided it was time for them to go.

Its interesting to look at other details in the photo. The building in the background at the top  left probably  held the offices of the Herald Newspaper.  To the right were various Market Street stores and shops. We see what appears to be two soldiers sitting on the porch of one of the stores.  In the top middle is a figure that appears to be a woman holding an object with two hands.  Presumably, civilian life in occupied Frederick had to go on.

I am particularly struck by the faces of two men at the bottom just to the left of the sign.  At this instant in time, they were captured in the photo gazing curiously directly at the camera.  They look barely old enough to shave.   I know that they, with the other solders in the photo, will soon be engaged in the bloodiest battle in American history.  I wonder what happened to them. Because nations always send their youngest men to fight their battles, sadly when they are killed, they leave this world with wives never embraced, children never born, whole lives never lived. I hope their fate was different. I hope they survived the war, lived long and prolific lives, and now have hundreds of descendants wondering what their ancestor did in the war.

 Process

I want to add some details about the process used to create this presentation.  I started looking for the location of the photograph by searching for the name as it appears on the sign, “J. Rosens  Dry Goods & Clothing”.  I expected to find the name in the 1859 Frederick Md Directory which I described in an earlier post. Surprisingly, there is no reference to the Rosenstock store or family even though they had been in business since 1855. I am still puzzled by this strange omission. Happily, the Historical Society provided me with the missing information.  Two useful references are the “History of Frederick County Maryland, Volume 1” and “The Citizen. Historical and Industrial Edition”, Frederick City MD., September 30, 1904.

Armed with the name and location of the store in the foreground of the photo, I started to try to locate the position of the camera.  To me, the most logical position was at the Red Men’s Hall which had a direct view in the direction of the troops.  I positioned the “Historic Photo” photo overlay the “Camera View” placemark where I now have the “Red Men’s Hall” placemark. But, from this location, I could not set the camera bearing to line up the street in the photo with the direction of Market Street while still looking at the store.   Then I moved the camera position to its current location.  I adjusted the camera tilt to align the image of the buildings in the photo background with the contemporary scene and the bearing to line up the sidewalk with the direction of Market Street.  Then I adjusted the image size by tweaking the photo overlay.  We know that the photo was taken from above the sign, but we do not know the actual height nor do we know the precise location of the sign.  I guessed that the height was about 8 meters (26 ft) and positioned the camera at the extreme southern end of the building.

There are still missing details.  I would love to see photos that show the building in the background as they existed when the photo was taken.  I could then add them in this presentation as more photo overlays.

I hope you enjoy this way of viewing history. I would appreciate any comments that add to the story or correct any details I may have wrong.

Digitizing the 1859 Frederick Md. Directory

Converting the 1859 Frederick Md directory to a searchable PDF document was a learning experience for me which I would like to share.  Photographing the directory went fairly quickly.  There were ninety-two images each showing  two opposing  pages plus images of the front and rear covers.  Working alone, I completed this step in under an hour.  Using the hand-held remote “clicker” was a big time saver.  I could just turn a page, hold it down with my finger “tool”, and click.

I  saved the original Nikon Raw files in TIFF format and converted the TIFF files to searchable PDF with Nuance Omnipage Professional 16. I happen to own this rather pricy application because I took advantage of deep discount offer a year or two ago. Omnipage Standard 18 may be a reasonable alternative.  I want the PDF files to be in Image Over Text format.  This displays the original image with searchable text underneath.

On my first attempt, I ran into a rather frustrating problem trying to save in that format.  I selected the “PDF Searchable Image” format, but Omnipage saved in converted text format with no background image.  I was a novice with this application and looked everywhere for a solution with no success.  Finally, I opened the “Options” dialog for the “PDF Searchable Image” format choice.  In there are two check boxes, “Show Background Image Layer” and “Show Text Layer” which both must be checked.  This solved the problem.

With this basic function fixed, the next step was to perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the TIFF image files. I chose to process them a file at a time and save the output as separate PDF files.  (I merged the files later.) I chose not to automatically locate the text and images and instead manually created text recognition boxes.  I did not need to deal with images because I use the Image Over Text format. This is all explained in the on-line help.  New users should expect to spend some time overcoming the rather steep learning curve. This effort, however, was rewarded by good conversion accuracy.  By contrast, I made a brief attempt to OCR the document using Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional without any early success.  After performing the OCR, Omnipage pops up a “Proofreader” box with “Recognition Suspects” highlighted.  You can specify the correct text behind suspect graphic images.  There is a “training” function that remembers your identification.

I had a problem with Suspect Text Areaareas like this one. The large “B” is called a ”drop cap”.  Drop caps were repeatedly  not recognized and the training function did not seem to work for them.  If anyone has a solution, I would love to hear from them as this was the primary source of error.

I finished processing by merging the individual PDF files using Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional.  The finished searchable document is now available in the archives of the Historical Society of Frederick County. There are enough directories and similar documents there to keep me busy for some time.

Now that I can extract the text from directories, I would like to include the directories in  web searchable documents.  I am currently studying methods of accomplishing this goal.

 

 

1859 Frederick Md Directory: A Snapshot of Frederick on the Eve of the Civil War

The “Williams’ Frederick Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror, Volume 1–1859-’60” was published in 1859 by the C. S. Williams. A copy was presented to the HSFC on November 19, 1957 by Mrs Bessie P. Keefer of Frederick. I recently had the opportunity to digitize it and create a PDF version with searchable text.

The searchable PDF document is available in the archives of the Historical Society of Frederick County. There is also a searchable HTML version on my website. The HTML code for the directory listing is enhanced with HTML microdata tags that help search engines understand the content of the page. I hope this makes the list of names more accessible to people doing genealogical and historical web searches. The HTML version also contains the un-formatted full text extracted from the PDF file.

This book is a fascinating snapshot of Frederick on the Eve of the Civil War.  Here is an image of the Contents page from the directory.

Contents Page from Frederick Directory-1859

Names For many people, the most important part of the directory is the alphabetical  list of names, addresses, and occupations, which are now searchable.  We take street numbers for granted, but they had not arrived in Frederick in 1859.  Instead street address listings look like:  w s Market 3d door n of Church which means West side of Market, third door North of Church. A telling insight into Frederick history, which reflects the deep effects of slavery and race on life in our country, was that fact that the names of “colored” residents are marked with an asterisk. Also of interest are the occupations in the list, many of which no longer exist.  Many occupations reflect the fact that Frederick, like most similar towns, was fairly self sufficient.  If you wanted leather goods, you could visit you Frederick tanner and currier who could prepare and finish leather to your satisfaction.

Beyond this, I think paging through other parts of the directory is a fascinating experience that gives a remarkable insight into life in Frederick in 1859.  I have included here a few samples that particularly attracted my interest.

Government In the City and County Government sections , Wm. G. Cole is listed as the Mayor.  Five years later, Mayor Cole was still in office and negotiated the $200,000 ransom of Frederick with the invading Confederate commander, General Early.  The city alderman were Geo. Smith, Henry Botler, Lewis Remsburgh, J. A. Ritter, and Lewis Bruner.  The County Commissioners were Val. Adams, Michael Shank, R. P. T. Dutrow, Thos. Winter, and H. H. Millin.  Many of these families are still prominent in the Frederick community.  Z. T. Windsor was the County Tax Collector.  His term expired in May 1860.  It is interesting that citizens had the opportunity to vote out the tax collector!  Daniel Ellis was the Keeper of the Alms House.

Churches Eight churches are listed.  Here is a sample.  Rev. Wm. Tascar was pastor of African Methodist Episcopal Church on the North side of All Saints near Market.  D. Zacharias D. D. was pastor of the Lutheran Church on the North side of Church, east of Market.  Rev. P. J. Blenkinsop was pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church at the corner Second and Chapel alley. He assistants were  Rev. Francis McAtee and Michael Tuffer.

Streets The street layout information is interesting.  Market, Patrick, and Church streets have always been there but some street names have changed. There actually was a Brewers Alley located where South Court Street is today.  Love Lane ran north and south near the East Corporation Line.  The Corporation Lines were the original boundaries of Frederick.  Love Lane later became East Street. I wonder how Love Lane got its name. There are no families named Love listed in the directory.  It may that Love came to Frederick for a brief stay and then departed. Middle Alley, a name that has no character whatsoever, was later renamed Maxwell Alley.  Public Street (north from Patrick to the Corporation Line, the first street west of Market Street) later became North Court Street. North Street, now 7th Street, was the original Northern boundary.  Mantz Street (South from All Saints Street, first street West of Market) became Ice Street. Comparing these streets with a the present map of Frederick City shows that the city has expanded considerably from its Civil War boundaries.

Newspapers There were four newspapers, all weeklies, in Frederick.  The Examiner was published by Schley, Haller & Co.; the Republican Citizen was published by Baughman & Norris; the Maryland Union was published by Johnson & Cole; and the Herald was published by John W. Heard.

Ads The directory also has many ads for Frederick businesses and institutions. They present a great picture of everyday life in Frederick.  Here is a sample:

Sample of Adds in Frederick Directory
The ad for Visitation Academy is particularly  interesting. Here is the image:
Visitation Academy AdThe ad shows the “Course of Instruction Embraced” by the Academy of the Visitation B. V. M. (Blessed Virgin Mary) which was run by the Sisters of the Visitation B. V. M.  The course included languages, arts, sciences, music, and history. Board and tuition cost $100 plus assorted charges and fees.  Tuition for “Day Scholars” ranged from $30 for the lower grades to $15 for the 5th and 6th classes.

The ad also shows the beautiful image of the Academy building shown here:

Visitation Academy BuildingVisitation Academy is still in Frederick at the same location.

Acknowledgment I want to thank the Historical Society of Frederick County for the opportunity to do the work described here. The Historical Society is a non-profit organization supported by contributions from benefactors, visitors, and users of the historical resources it provides. Everyone is welcome to visit either in person or through it’s web site. Contributions to the HSFC’s work are appreciated and gratefully accepted.

Photographing Historic Documents and Pictures with the Nikon 1 V1 Camera

One of my main volunteer tasks at the Historical Society of Frederick County is photographing historic pictures and documents.  You can find many of pictures I have copied in the Online Catalog on the HSFC web site. I have done this for a several years using my Nikon D70, but have now started using my new Nikon 1 V1. My current project is photographing account and day books from the new “Auburn Farm Books and Catoctin Furnace Ledger” collection. Some material dates back to 1811; most are daily records from the eighteen sixties.

Camera Set Up

I mount the camera on HSFC’s  Bogen TC-1 Copy Stand, which provides about 20″ of copy surface, a nice uniform light, and a very stable camera mount.  I use a remote to snap the photos to avoid mechanical shake.  With the D70, I use the Adobe Camera Control Pro.  I don’t know of any remote control software for the Nikon 1 (hopefully there will be one in the future).  Instead, I use the remote control “clicker” accessory.

I start by positioning the camera, lights, and material on the copy stand and put a grey card on top of the material.  I then set the “White balance” to the “Preset manual” option.  I select this option and choose to “Measure a new value”.  I follow the prompt and take a closeup photo. This appears to do a good job of color correction.

Resolution test chart for use with ISO Standard 12233

Resolution test chart for use with ISO Standard 12233

I set up the camera to get a sharp focus on a test pattern. The pattern I use is the focus target in the ISO 12233 resolution measurement chart. I printed a homemade version of the chart as follows:  I opened the downloaded PDF file in Photoshop Elements 9, chose to rasterize the image at 1200 pixels per inch, and printed the chart at high resolution on my Epson printer.

I set the “Exposure mode” to “Aperture-priority auto” and set the aperture wide open to increase the focus sensitivity. Then I follow this procedure:

  1. Replace the grey card with the test pattern with the focus target in the center of the frame.
  2. The procedure was simple with the D70, I simply auto focused on the target and switched to manual mode to lock in focus.
  3. With the Nikon 1 V1, I  push the bottom (AF) side of the multifunction button on the camera and set the “Focus Mode” to “AF-S” using the multifunction button.
  4. I then focus and shoot the test pattern. This gives a very sharp focus.
  5. Right now I have a problem reliably locking in the focus during the production phase.  Unfortunately there is no numeric readout of the focus setting, which would replace the D70 focus ring setting.  Adding a numeric reading would make it easier to control the setting.
  6. I leave the focus setting where it is during production and have gotten excellent results.  On occasion, I lose auto focus and have to re-focus on the test pattern.

Because I need a good depth of field when photographing these bound documents, I adjust the  aperture to about F9. For quality control purposes, I take photos of the test pattern and the grey card and keep them with the production photos.

Production

The Nikon 1 V1 is a bit harder to set up then the D70, but really came into its own during the production stage.  The image is about 3800 x 2600 pixels compared to 3000 x 2000  pixels for the D70.  For a 12″ wide document this gives a resolution of about 310 pixels per inch which is adequate for reading the content.

Sample Image: Photograph from Small Notebook

Sample Image: Page from Small Notebook

This is a photograph of a small notebook from the collection. According to the notes with the collection, it contains Law School notes dating back to the 1830’s.  It is clear that the writer used every inch of space.

Photographing the material has an advantage over scanning because the material can be kept face up.  Also since the photograph has a substantial depth of field, there is no need to try to flatten the material against the glass of a scanner.  After some trial and error, I decided that the best page holding device is my finger as shown in the photo.  When a page is properly positioned, I use the remote control “clicker”, shown in my right hand, to take the photograph.  I set the “Self-timer” control on the camera to the Remote “2s” setting.  This gives a 2 second delay after I press the remote button to make any final adjustments.  With this method, I can work faster than I could with the computer controlled  D70. Working by myself, I was able to photograph between three and five pages a minute.

Post Processing

I insert the memory card into the memory card slot on my computer and copy the images to an external hard disk using Photo Mechanic.  Photo Mechanic can rename the files (I use the “{datesort}-{seqn}-Tag”  format to make the names date sortable) and insert captions, titles, and other metadata. I use Lightroom 3 to process the images.  I had to upgrade to version 3.6, which supports the Nikon 1.  I think that Lightroom does an outstanding job of sharpening images.  I over-sharpened the images a bit for this project because I want to enhance the handwriting.  I use the following Lightroom Sharpening settings: Amount: 102; Radius: 1.0; Detail: 11; and Masking:36.

Result

The next photo shows close up of the earlier image after post processing.

Closeup of Processed Image

Closeup of Processed Image