Railton Photo’s Original Photograph
The original photograph of the Rinkey Dinks by Railton Photo in 1928 consisted of twelve individual images of the players and the two coaches, dry-mounted on a large mat with three rows of photographs with an image of hand-lettered text in the middle of the bottom row. The name and position of each player was lettered onto the mat below the image. It looked a lot like the restored image below.
The Damaged Photographs
This composite photograph was later dismantled. The individual photographs were torn apart, remaining attached to the mat. At some point they must have been stored in a damp place and the photographs began to deteriorate. They all looked more or less like the photo of Dot Gore shown here on the right.
The Restored Photographs
Having done some photo restoration before, I thought it might be possible to restore these photographs at least to some extent. Once I had scanned them, I realized that the amount of work to be done was more than I had encountered before. I consulted photographer Mike de Moree and asked for advice as to how to best proceed. He worked on one image and showed me how it might be possible to make them look better although this would mean softening the focus considerably on the most damaged parts. Luckily the faces tended to be in better shape than the uniforms. After considerable effort and adding a sepia filter the images looked much better. The text, however, did not look great.
The next problem was how to lay these out. For this I consulted with my husband who is very good at puzzles. We looked at the patterns of discoloration on the backs of the images and tried to fit them together to match. The restored images were then laid out as they would have been originally together with the text image. In the end I decided not to use the original text under each photograph, but to type in the same information with a similar font.
The Restored Digital Portrait
For the final restored photograph a background colour was chosen similar to the original mat. A border was placed around it for viewing as a digital image. The final result is shown below.
The original intention in undertaking this work (which took many hours) was to have a copy printed and placed in a public place like Memorial Gardens so that the Rinkey Dinks, the first team to bring home a provincial championship to North Bay (see previous post), be better remembered. A first attempt to do so failed because the file was too large. I believe that the new wide printer at Nipissing should be able to print this image full size and I am able to print a smaller version on my printer. Anyone wishing a print copy can therefore contact me. I would be particularly pleased to see it go up in a public venue.
The portraits of the individual players are 4 inches by 6.1 inches in size. The shield and text is 5.4 by 6.6 inches in size. The full image is 28.8 inches by 24 inches in size and the file size for the full colour image as above is 255.87 MB. A black and white version is only 85.3 MB in size.
Postcript on Jean Wilson
The last living Rinkey Dink, Jean Wilson, died in North Bay in 2012. She is top left in this photo. She did not play in 1929 when they won the championship because she had left the team to go to Normal School. She taught several generations of North Bay students who remember her fondly. She was 105 years old.