Help dating a negative

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by perkeleellinen, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Hello All,

    I wonder if the photos below could be dated using the (minimal) edge markings.

    The photos show a Packhard (what model?) belonging to E.B.Boughton, one of the directors of Automotive Products, PLC. A one time large car components factory based in Leamington Spa, England.

    I worked at this place for 12 years and I'm now amassing documents with the aim of writing the history of the place.

    Can these photos be dated? E.B.Boughton died in 1981 aged 99, the photos show the car parked in front of the main offices of the factory. My guess, and it's nothing more than a guess, is the 1960s. Do the negative edge markings tell a different story? Is there anything there to go on? All I have at present is a scan of this contact sheet. The negs may have been destroyed, not sure yet.

    Many thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I know you love film, but you must not date it. Only date humans.

    (I can't help you with the markings, sorry.)
     
  3. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    chocolate, flowers, a movie?

    Marc!
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I'd guess late 60's based on the aluminum door to the building; that's sort of common to that era. There's also an air conditioner which might offer some clues; I don't know when window air conditioners came into popularity. If you have other photos of the building you could compare the vine growth on the building too, unless that was perfectly kept at that quantity forever.
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Thanks. In 1970 the firm celebrated their 50th anniversary by publishing a sycophantic book. This is the back cover:

    [​IMG]

    The doors are wood, the air conditioner is there and the vine growth seems about the same. From this I think the photos must have been post-1970 unless the photo on the book was very old (unlikely).
     
  6. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    :smile:

    Ahh, you see, in British English we say 'go out with' to mean doing on a date: I want to go out with you, not I want to date you which would be like an odd way of asking someone their age!
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Can't help on the image overall, but the car is a 1936 Packard One-Twenty.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    the replaced door is 70s maybe even 80s ...
    you might contact the company, and see if the
    maintenance-guy is still around, he might know
    when the door was installed to help date the photo.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2012
  9. zsas

    zsas Member

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    JP The AC unit seems to offer lots of clues, nice find! The AC unit in the pic in post #6 doesn't match the one in post #1. The one in post #6 is larger and presumably newer? What is that box on the awning in post#1 that isn't in number #6?
     
  10. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Is there a registration sticker anywhere on the car?

    In the U.S. most cars driven on public roads must have a yearly registration sticker on the license plate and most states also require a safety inspection and a sticker on the windshield.

    I don't see a registration sticker on the license but it looks like there is a sticker on the left side (of the vehicle) on the windshield. I can't see enough to tell what that is. If you can find a date on that sticker or some place else on the car you could pin the date of the photo down to plus/minus one year from that date.

    Many (U.S.) registration stickers are color coded as well. Metal license plates are also reissued from time to time.
    Looking up sticker colors and/or license plate designs might also help.

    What about the chauffeur? Is he still alive? If he is, just ask him!
    Was he an employee of the company or was he a personal servant to the owner? Company records might give a clue to the whereabouts of the man.
    Even if the guy is not alive anymore, you still have information about when the photo was taken. It couldn't have been taken after he died. Right?
    Hypothetically speaking, what if he died the day after the photo was taken?
    Find that man and you might find the answer to your riddle.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Randy- in the UK, cars are issued a license plate when they are first sold, and that plate stays with the vehicle for so long as the vehicle exists. So if that car still exists and hasn't been totalled in an accident or otherwise scrapped, it still bears that same plate, even if it has been sold 20 times. I don't know about inspection stickers if they issue them or how often.
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Steve it might be worthwhile contacting the Leamington Courier. Even if none of its records about AP helps it might be prepared to help by running a story to excite interest from ex AP employees.

    Is there still an AP sports and social club or a core group of ex employees that still meets occasionally?

    Somebody might know who the chauffeur is and even if he is dead now, his family might have accurate memories of events.

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser
     
  13. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Well the registration/tax sticker in the round holder on the windscreen would date the picture if you could read the year on it. Otherwise it sure looks like a 70's door system.
     
  14. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    The car's licence plate could be personalised, or it could be the original '30s one. There's a website called "howmantleft" that lists the number of registered vehicles for any manufacturer. According to that site there are no Packards on the roads in the UK - but there could be many in private collections. I had a pm that suggested the car could be a '50s Austin Princess, I haven't checked to see the difference between the two.

    In any event, I suppose the Kodak edge markings don't tell us much at all, pity. It would have been nice to date the photo that way. This is not really that important, it's a tiny element in quite a big project that needs to view archive material that is probably not extant.

    The Leam Courier will certainly have records about AP in their archives, there's also stuff at the Country Records Office and the National Archive. Hopefully stuff still exists in the remnants of the firm too. The Bolton, Speke and Banbury divisions mean material probably exists in those respective county archives too. AP has a '25 Club' for employees who had more than 25 years service and they've got some fascinating material such as cine footage of the factories during wartime painted in camouflage with netting over the internal road ways. Lots of work to access all this stuff. In wealthier times I may have been able to get a research grant, for now, I'm doing it slowly in my own time.
     
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I wish I knew enough about British registration plates to say if that is authentic or not - I'd find it a bit odd to be only 4 digits in the 1930s. But that absolutely is a 1936 Packard. I believe it is a One-Twenty based on the apparently short wheelbase and relatively small rear passenger compartment , but it could be a One-Sixty. The grille is the dead giveaway, as should the hub caps and trunk rack medallion be, if you were to examine them more closely. And it was produced for the UK market - it has right-hand drive.
     
  16. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    I was unable to see any useful edge marks from the scan of your contact sheet. What do you see for edge marks?
     
  17. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Ahem... carry on!
     
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  18. Railfan

    Railfan Member

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    Because Kodak changed edge markings occasionally (at least for the B&W roll films made Rochester for U.S. use), it is possible to roughly date negatives. So far as I can tell from my collection of negatives, Kodak revised the "Kodak Safety Film" lettering around 1960 by placing the "Kodak" within an arrow as shown on your contact sheet. In 1967, Kodak again revised the marking by putting "Kodak Safety" in regular lettering and "Film" in an arrow. Therefore, I am fairly confident that your contact sheet was printed from film manufactured between 1960 and 1966.

    Gary
     
  19. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    There is also a good possibility the UK made films would have slightly different edge markings than products cut and packaged in the US.
     
  20. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Many thanks for this, Gary. This is the sort of thing that I hoped might be possible. Notwithstanding what Bob says about UK manufactured film, I do think we can date the photos to the early '70s.
     
  21. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    The colour "look" of the film says Kodacolour, Kodacolour-X, or Kodacolour-II to me. (Using English spelling deliberately.)