Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

A Portrait

A Portrait

I purchased this particular cabinet card because the back had some faint and faded words written in pencil and I was intrigued by the challenge of finding out what those words were. Thankfully, by changing the exposure, contrast and sharpness, I was able to bring out the following:


Letter on the back

Bits of it are still difficult to make out, but I think it goes a bit like this:

“55 years old

Good by reeds

this is for your ??? are

Leaten’s picture now do

answer my letter

no my dress hasn’t

torn (?) just a mistake

in the print of picture

to match shade you see

of face & hands now

answer my letter please

we have return to

??? can’t rest hardly

but ??? for them thats

taken last spring”

If you can make more sense out of it, please do!

The Hutching’s Railroad Photo Car was a train car studio that allowed the photographer to travel all over the country, taking photos and seeing the world at the same time. For other Hutching’s photographs, click the category Photographer / Hutching’s.

UPDATE: I realized some people might want to see the original scan of the photo back, below:

Faint writing

Faint writing

5 thoughts on “55 years old

  1. Mustang.Koji says:

    I am curious… What was your general procedure in scanning this?


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I use an Epson Perfection scanner (old but a workhorse) and I scanned at 300 dpi in color. Then I took the image into Picnic on Google+ and played around with the levels, sharpness and contrast to bring out the writing. The back of the card really is pearl white like the front of it.


      1. Mustang.Koji says:

        I assume you tried scanning it in gray scale?


  2. Mrs Marvel says:

    Yes, in gray scale it did not resolve well. The pencil is just too faded.


  3. You did good..the pencil is sometimes so hard to see:)


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