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Photos from the Past

Those of us over a certain age will no doubt remember listening to our vinyl records and how much clearer digital CDs were (for good or bad!). The same holds true for photographs. Today’s digital photographs are so much more detailed and able to be tweaked to correct minor problems. Yesterday’s photos just can’t compare – especially those taken with consumer-grade cameras. Colour prints from the seventies and eighties are notoriously unstable. Add cheap camera optics, small image size, poor contrast range and bad lighting to the mix, and one could be forgiven asking whether its worth preserving some of the photos.

The answer is “yes”. No matter how much below the quality we expect nowadays, there is often detail in the images themselves that can only add to our knowledge of transit history. So, I have started a project to scan these images that have been donated to our library through the years. I’m placing them in their own gallery on our website, so viewers know we are preserving them for their historical content more than their photographic merit. Sometimes, the historical content may not be evident at the moment: perhaps some future archivist will discover a nugget of valuable information contained in them!

A group of buses parked in a parking lot

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We all know of the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of transit – but what about the 90th?

A picture containing transport, train, bus

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The “Bus” sign was not a decal?

A group of buses parked next to each other

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#2601 was fitted with a Brown-Boveri chopper control. Compare the “hump” between it and #2605

A car parked in a parking lot

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Of course, some are “borderline!”. Maybe it is not worth keeping.

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