Thanks Jamie, and Ron. Here's a progress report. Some digi talk. Hope that's OK. I decided some time ago to draw the line at the negative stage with these. I've neither the time or space to get serious about wet prints;
Thanks for all the well wishes and support. Looking almost due east for this image. Looking at the front of the Mizpah Hotel, which is our main landmark.
Yesterday I was able to borrow the one excellent original copy of Sheelor's image. The museum and the courtroom both had 2nd generation photo copy's from the 1960's and had lost detail and sharpness, but the county assessor's office had an original in it's oak frame.
Tonopah; 1913 (click for larger image)
I laid it carefully on some terry towels and proceeded to pull all hundred nails and lay them carefully adjacent on the towels to where they came out. There were 8 pieces of 1/8" pine holding the cardboard behind the photo paper. I numbered them lightly with a red pencil so I could get them back in exactly as removed.
Then I set a long table under the Epson V700 and proceeded to scan at 240 dpi, and 300 dpi. Takes about 9 scans so you have good overlap.
The reason I did it twice was because I was seeing some smear and I thought it was photomerge doing a lousy job of sewing my picture back together. Turns out it was Sheelor's Cirkut camera doing a lousy job of painting the image on the film. Also I see a couple of double imaging spots. Those are accountable to movement in the contact printer I think. At original contact size you really don't notice some of this stuff. In fact I'd never been able to see the train engine making the smoke until I scanned the image.
After the scans I carefully laid the image back in the frame and put each nail back in it's original hole, returned to the assessor's office, and re-hung the picture back in it's place.
So here also is my final image for 2013 comparison;
Tonopah 2013 (click for larger image)
Even though the thumbnails are different sizes, the images are both about 51 1/2" long. Identical for all practical purposes.