Baltimore, Construction, Dams, engineering, Patapsco, photography, POLITICS, Public Works, Research, scanning, water history
Loose Ends Never End sounds like some spiritual/metaphysical quote (It does come from the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 9). But in my case it is more about my trying to tie up some loose ends before I retire. Just when I think I’m about done documenting and scanning the archives – Poof!! More just appear out of nowhere. Well actually I found a bunch more under my work bench. Three index drawers full of 3-1/2″ x 5″ photographic negatives. At first I thought there was only 500 or so. There are over 1,500 of them! I started scanning them yesterday and got about 100 done. Below is a sampling of those.
Just glancing through the first couple hundred, it appears these are from the building of the Liberty Dam, starting in 1952. This photo shows a happy foreman on top of the intake structure as it is being built.
The Engineer’s Office – must be before MBE/WBE requirements. Not sure why the one guy has his arm around the other one?
There were four floods on the Patapsco during 1952, all stopping work for a few days – Change Order!
The coffer dams held back some of the water.
The Arundel Corporation’s cement plant.
Ooopps! Not looking too happy now. There were a lot of accidents on the job site in 1952. Most notably a crane fell, crushing one of the workers. There are actually a few photos in this group of that, but I am not posting those. One shows the worker’s head crushed under the I-beam. I cannot believe someone took that photo.
This looks like an accident waiting to happen. I don’t think that truck is capable of holding that bucket safely.
These guys are working. Trying to make up for lost days due to flooding.
The intake structure rising from the river.
I have been using an Epson 4990 scanner for a few years now. It works pretty good, except the software that came with it is a little off. By that I mean, if I scan a photo negative, it automatically turns it into a positive in a file, but it is too dark and takes a lot of work in the Photoshop Elements software. So I scan it as a positive, which it converts to a negative. Then in PE I invert it and hit auto levels and it looks just right. Some of course will never look right, only because of what the photographer did when taking the photo.
I guess taking care of these loose ends will give me something to do for a while!
Ann Blouse said:
Ron, what are we history buffs going to do when you retire?! Are you going to put these scanned photos on the web for easy access? Alternatively, could you put them on a CD or thumbdrive and donate to the Historical Society of Baltimore County? Are many of them identified (place, date?).
Ronald Parks said:
Too big a collection for CDs and thumb drives. Right now I have them backed up to an external hard drive. I will probably get with the IT guys and see what can be done. When I figure it out, I will let everyone know before I go. Yes, quite a few are identified. This new collection I found is not, but from my research over the years and the dates on the envelopes, I know what was going on. Another task I hope to get done is to identify all the photos that were misidentified from years ago.
Dang, that’s was our ‘let’s see what’s going on at the dam’ trips of the 1960’s.
Retire?! Do people retire from wordpress? I really appreciate what you do here. But when it happens I will wish you well, for sure.
Ronald Parks said:
LOL! Retiring from my job after 37 years! Part of which has been historical research. It is the only thing I will miss and thank you!
Oh! Lol. Ok, good. Yes, historical research is vey fulfilling somehow.