“Wake him up,” 1920

Twice in the last week I’ve fallen asleep sitting up. Once was on the sofa at home but the second time was in my car, which was parked in the Lovett lot. I woke up twenty minutes later with my sandwich in my lap.

In that spirit I give you this little note from Earnest Robertson, class of 1923, discovered recently in the ARA collection:

I went and checked–Mr. Uhl did in fact graduate. He was an engineer, which might explain a lot:

Bonus: I had a nice change of pace today. Instead of drying things off, I got things wet. Stacks of Beth Yeshurun religious school photos had gotten stuck together and the way you unstick them is to put them back in the water for a while. It worked very well.

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3 Responses to “Wake him up,” 1920

  1. I see those are curling as they dry. That is normal. But you don’t want to forcefully flatten them and crack the emulsion.

    We used to use a “photo blotter” with acid-free sheets to dry prints. Layer them with paper and put weight on top.

    The Rice photography darkroom probably still has a ferrotype drum. You can use that to flatten the black and white prints. Get them wet, squeegee off the excess water, then feed them to the rotating drum. I would do it emulsion (image) out. Emulsion against the drum makes a very shiny surface, but can leave non-shiny spots.

    If they are mostly flat, you can use a dry mount press to make them flatter.

    Either approach uses heat to soften the gelatin and pressure to flatten the paper.

    Luckily, black and white prints are rarely damaged by being soaked in (clean) water. But the gelatin can grow mold. The same is true for black and white negatives.

    But rising in clean water is a great first step.

  2. I occasionally fell asleep in my 8 AM calculus class. Of course, it was taught by Paul Pfeiffer, who would go for a run, have breakfast with the women of Brown, then show up chipper and ready to teach.

    One day, I remembered that we had learned a really cool method for dealing with integrals, but I couldn’t remember what it was. A few years later, I had to re-learn partial fractions decomposition.

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