Senior Scan Day July 14, 2023

On Friday, July 14th between 1 and 3 PM the Historical Society of Easton will be at the Easton Senior Center offering seniors free scanning of their historically related photographs and documents.

Five years ago, when we scanned the first photographs in the historical society’s archives, we were somewhat surprised by the number of pictures in that collection that had absolutely no identifiers. While we were eventually able to put a name to most of the buildings and landscapes in some of those vintage photographs, we were at a loss to put names to the faces of many of the people in the several dozen family portraits in our collection.

One of the main purposes of any historical society is to collect and curate as much about a town’s history as possible. Having good quality photographs of residents from the past is a great asset to any historical collection, however without names, those photographs provide us with very little information other than how folks dressed and wore their hair some one hundred years ago.

Several times a year, we are approached by families who are cleaning out grandma’s attic, or their deceased aunt Tilda’s basement. Family photo albums are often offered that are chock full of interesting faces, but far too many of them can’t be identified by the grandchildren or nieces and nephews who are willing to part with them.

Stephen Kochis family photo from 1912

“Oh, I think that may be another aunt or cousin.”

“I wish I had paid more attention when Nana was naming the people in that one.”

Without the names, many of these otherwise perfect photographs offer few insights into the history they represent.

We certainly understand why living people don’t want to give up photos from their family albums. But once those folks have passed and those same photos end up in the hands of a generation who don’t wish to keep them, without the names, they are of minimal interest.

At the Historical Society of Easton, we have come up with a way that allows people to hold on to their treasured photographs while also allowing both present and future generations to enjoy and learn from them. We simply scan those photos into our database, identify them on the spot by recording the information the present owners are able to provide us with, and then return the photograph to the owner. As an added bonus, we then provide each owner a digital copy of every photograph we scan that they can then share with other family members via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Instant Messenger. We put those photographs on flash drives that we provide free of charge in exchange for allowing us access to pictures we may never again have the opportunity to examine and record.

So, if you are a senior (55ish or older), please join us this Friday at the Easton Senior Center located at 650 Morehouse Road between the hours of 1 and 3 PM. There is no cost to participate, and you don’t have to be a member of the center. Simply bring some of your photographs and documents – unframed please, as our scanners need direct access to the surface of a photograph or document to capture a clear, glare-free image.

What we are looking for: Clear vintage images of Easton buildings and recognizable landmarks; vintage photographs of Easton couples and families (remember, we need the names of at least some of the people in them); historic documents you are willing to share with others, such as deeds, marriage certificates, immigration papers, letters, artwork, etc. that relate to past or present Easton residents. Some examples are shown below:

Ida Tarbell home “Twin Oaks” c.1920
Original letter signed by Helen Keller
Newspaper clippings showing events related to Easton
Jesse Lee junior choir 1940
1899 Ship’s manifest with future resident Philip Snow

This is an event that we hope to repeat on a regular basis. Society members Elizabeth Boyce and Bruce Nelson will be on hand to explain the program and answer your questions.

This is a win-win situation for both the Society and the citizens we serve, so please join us, and allow us to share the history that’s held within your precious old photographs and vintage documents!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.