GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 1999-04 > 0923938843
Subject: Re: Photographing old tombstones
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 13:40:43 EDT
Yes, will give you our method. I used to give seminars on this.
Make yourself a little kit before going to the cemetery. It should contain:
Carpenters chaulk, some small pieces of styrofoam (we had a large tube of
it and just cut them into about 4 inch pieces). A small pump (like a lamp
pump - boy am I dating myself). An old fashioned fly sprayer will work as
well or anything that will creat some air movement.
Also take a long some water in a gallon jug and something to apply it to the
stone with. (this is for cosmetic reasons only). Also a short prying object
is helpful to lift the stone if it has fallen over and in partially submerged
in the ground.
Take the chaulk and rub it over the lettering on the stone (depressed letters
- whatever the correct term is for them). Then take the styrofoam and rub
the stone so that it is nice and smooth. (This makes the lettering stand out)
Then use the pump to blow away the chaulk from the depression of the lettrs.
Photograph the stone. Use the water to remove the chaulk. This is really
not necessary, because the first rain will also do this but it is a good idea
in case someone believes you are defacing the stone. This method does not
work as well if the letters are not depressed.
If you find yourself without chault a little sand will also do, but not as
Try it taking a picture before and after and you will notice a big change in