Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

August 30th, 2009:

Scans of Odd Things, Part 1

Carol 8-16-1969-200wide.jpgI’m doing a project for our church that involves scanning a lot of old photos, and while I’m at it, I’m scanning things that have been waiting in a ratty file pocket for scanning since, well, (in some cases) almost forever. Most are unremarkable, though a few of them are remarkable to Carol and me, like the first photo I ever took of her (at right) and the sheet of paper on which she wrote her phone number on the night we met. A few other things in the folder are odd indeed, though how odd depends on how strongly your taste buds respond to “odd.” So I’m going to present a couple of those odd things here and in coming days, just for fun.

Years ago, I bought a box of old books at an estate sale. They were interesting to flip through, but most of them were pretty moldy, and smelled, so did not stay in my possession very long. However, in one of them was an apparently uncirculated 1928 $1 US silver certificate, tossed in perhaps to flatten it. (I doubt that a dollar bill would be used as a bookmark in 1928…) Though like most boomer kids I collected pennies in the 60s, when I had currency (which I didn’t often) I spent it. I had never seen a bill that old, and although the obverse would be instantly recognizable, the reverse looks like no dollar bill I’ve ever seen.


In preparing this post, I ran into an interesting conundrum: The US Treasury regulations on reproducing pictures of currency specify that color photos must be either 75% or less of actual size, or 150% or more of actual size. Fair enough–but how does that translate to an image on the Web? The image above is about 75% of natural size on my hires monitor, but how about on your netbook? I sniffed around online and found no guidance, but surely, this issue must have come up since the Web went mainstream 15 years ago.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that the bill did not smell like the book it had been pressed in for what may have been 65 years–and that book you could smell six feet away. How do they do that?

Tomorrow: Jeff’s dad meets Frankenstein. Really.