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Fishermen Bringing Ashore an Engine of Admiral Byrd's Fokker C-2 "America"
Fishermen Bringing Ashore an Engine of Admiral Byrd's Fokker C-2 "America”; gelatin silver print (DOP), 1927. Fitzhugh Green Sr. Papers, Booth Family Center for Special Collections.
Several photographs in this manuscripts collection had been severely water and mold damaged prior to their arrival in Special Collections. This photograph also had thin vertical cracks in its emulsion layer. As well as having yellowed and rippled, a newspaper label had stuck to the image surface. Treating this photograph required specialized photographic conservation skills, due to the nature and severity of the damage. Areas of loss were consolidated with gelatin, and the surface was cleaned with localized moisture. As photographs from this time period are chemically unstable, moisture must be administered with care; as it can change the chemical composition of the photograph. Applying localized moisture allowed for the adhered label to be removed, and the smaller areas of loss in the image were retouched with watercolors. The adhered label, important to documenting the context of the image, was salvaged by washing it and backing it with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste. The salvaged label reads: "Ver-sur-Mer, France. --Fisherman [sic] bringing ashore one of the engines of the giant Fokker monoplane 'America' in which Commander Byrd and his three companions flew across the Atlantic and were forced down at Ver-sur-Mer after [being] in the air 42 hours, and battling storms and fogs. 7-8-27" The photograph was flat after treatment; but since the paper support has a strong memory, some of the overall cockling remains.