Color Enhancement

Many of the names on the chalk walls were written using a map pencil.

The marks made by these pencils became permanent when the surface was wet and written on or when the pencil was dipped in water and then used. The pencil pigment turned a medium purple color on wet paper, indicating that the mark made was permanent. This purple color assured permanence in notations and reassured the map holder that the information could not easily be removed, thereby losing important information.

Although many of these images survived over the years and are in the same condition as when they were made, some have faded for an unknown variety of reasons making them difficult to read.

With current photographic technology we are able to select the appropriate pixels representing the specific purple color and then enhance its color to reveal the faded information. This method only works if there is enough pigment left for the camera to capture.

To see how this works, place your cursor over the above image.

As you can see this image was done by A.E. Cunningham. His service number was 730039 and he lived at 103 Elliot Street, Galt Ontario. From the Archives Canada collection you can find his attestation papers using his service number.


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