Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Turning a Negative Into a Positive

The first launch of a Polaris missile, from the submerged U.S.S. George Washington submarine on July 20, 1960.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I volunteer as a docent at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The museum has a large archive of historic images and documents, some of which are online. Most are not. Thousands of negatives await discovery in the archives, slowly decaying as time takes its toll.

The Air Force once assigned an archivist to the museum, but he was transferred in 2010 so the volunteers work in the archives as circumstances permit.

Some of the images have been enlarged and are displayed in the History Center outside the CCAFS south gate. (Touring the History Center is free.)

I have a digital photo scanner, so I volunteered to scan the archive negatives and fix them in Adobe Photoshop. Many of the negatives from the 1950s and 1960s are in 4"x5" dimensions, and some are in better shape than others.

Below are some images I've scanned so far.

A Polaris missile is launched from the USNS Observation Island. From the deck of this ship, President Kennedy watched an A-3 Polaris launch on November 16, 1963, six days before his assassination in Dallas.

A Jupiter launch on October 22, 1957.

A Minuteman I in its silo on April 10, 1963.

A Minuteman II launch on September 24, 1965.

The final images are of a Minuteman II launch on March 31, 1966. A third image is badly damaged and will require a lot of work if it will see the light of day.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing photos! Steve, let me know if you need help.