Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer project

I'm working on an interesting project that I hope to complete by September.  I've got many boxes of slides that date back to the 1950s, mostly taken by my mom.  The earliest ones date from before her marriage to my dad, when she was working as a secretary up in Whitehorse.  They're from the late '50s, then I believe there might be some wedding photos, then the bulk of the pictures are of me and my sister, from birth up to early school years.

Watching these slides used to be a big, once-a-year event when we were kids.  Of course, it was a lot of work and bother: we had to haul out and set up the projector screen, then get the old projector set up on a chair.  And of course, we had to wait until it was nighttime, so the living room would be properly dark for the complete theatre experience.  But it WAS an experience!  We'd make popcorn and even have the treat of a Coke! This was an exciting novelty for us, even though the slides were the same every time.  But we only got to see them once a year (if that) so we were never bored.

When my mom died, somehow I ended up with all the slides, probably because I was the only one who still had a projector and took slides myself.  The boxes of slides travelled around the world with us, and at one time I transferred them from the old square metal boxes they had originally been in, to a plastic carousel that held many more.  I also took the trouble of writing down titles for as many as I could on the numbered sheet that came with the carousel.

Well, times change and technology moves on.  We got rid of our projector and screen after we moved to this house, and I'm sure we hadn't seen the slides for almost 10 years prior to that.  Our interests moved on to computers, and soon I was scanning documents to save to the hard drive, when I read about photographic services that would do the same thing for slides.

I looked into it, but besides the cost, the problem was that most of these places would remove the slide from its little cardboard frame, and then leave it like that!  I figured that would make it difficult to store the original slide, so I never went any further with the project.

Well, a few months ago I was in Canada Computers when I saw a little machine for sale that looked very like the old-fashioned slide viewers we used to have when I was young.  It's the Ion Film 2SD Plus slide and film scanner. Considering the number of slides I had, it would be a lot cheaper to get this machine and scan them myself, so I took a gamble and bought it.

Today I started on a carousel I'd found on a rack in the garage - stuffed in there years ago to keep it out of James's clutches, no doubt.  These were pictures from 1963 to 1965, covering my 4th birthday to the Christmas after my sister was born.  Except for the fact that the scanner can't quite cover ALL the area of the slide (it crops a little on the sides), I think the pictures look very good:

These are me from 1963 - just think, the slides themselves are 50 years old!  It's amazing that they've survived this long.

My mom, my sister and me.  Note the matching velvet dresses!  My aunt made those for us.

A last one of my sister.  I've always loved this picture.  PerSPECTive, Mrs. Brown!

Anyway, I went down to the basement to start hunting down more slides, and I found several more carousels, going up to about 1967.  Then there are 2 carousels of pictures I took myself on a trip to Germany in 1977, when I was 17.  Pretty good, too, taken with my mom's old Voigtlander camera.

But I haven't been able to find the slides of the trip to Yugoslavia we took in 1967 - Mom, my sister, me and I think Auntie May.  That was to visit the relatives we'd never seen, whom my grandma had left behind when she immigrated to Canada after WWI.  There were a lot of pictures from there, and I hope I can find them again.

When I've scanned them all, I'm going to put them on dvds, and perhaps even make a slide show with music, and send it to family members, so we can all see these pictures again.


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