Photographer digitizes more than 200 historical Canton photos from 1800s for online gallery
Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 6:00 pm

By CRAIG FREILICH

CANTON – Photographer Denny Barr and Canton Town Historian Linda Casserly have been working to transfer historical Canton photos to digital form for an online gallery.

Barr has digitized more than 200 glass plate photos from about 1830 to 1890. About 300 other photo negatives from the 1950s have been converted, with manyThis photo of a cheesebox factory in Rensselaer Falls was one of many on old glass plates.This photo of a cheesebox factory in Rensselaer Falls was one of many on old glass plates. more to go. Many of those are believed to be from the collection of well-known Canton photographer Dwight Church.

There is precious little information about many of the 1950s photos.

“Those from the glass plates are identified. There were labels right on the plates. And now the plates are stored in proper boxing,” the historian said.

The photos from the 1950s “have just been sitting in a file cabinet,” and are now being processed and stored, making organizing the whole collection easier, Casserly said.

“Denny’s doing an incredible job. They are superior quality,” she said.

“Sometimes it takes him hours to get the faces and surroundings cleared,” she said of the plates “Then he enlarges them to 13-by-17 and I now have over 200 in the office, in sleeves for people to come and see them all. It has been a wonderful gift, Dennis’s work for the Town and Village of Canton.

“Since he is native he pours all his love and work ethic into creating a living photographic history for Canton. He is the next Dwight ‘DP’ Church of Canton,” Casserly said.

She said she would encourage other museums and historical collections with glass plates and old negatives to get them into computer-readable form.

The historian’s website is undergoing a rebuilding, but it should be ready “within a month,” she said.