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  Ed B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed B  Posted on: Mar 27, 2009 - 8:58am

Your exchange with Victor Chun reminded me to follow up on a research area that might interest you. Several years ago I donated to PT Boats HQ an Elco drawing film file that had been in my father's possession. My recollection is that the file consisted of well over 100 film sleeves (35mm?), each containing several drawings. The majority were 103 series, but I think there may have been some earlier (77' ?) drawings as well. At that time, at least, HQ did not have a film reader. I know Pat Matthews offerred to arrange a service to read/print the files, but he was a new member at the time, and Alyce was reluctant to part with the originals to a stranger, and the cost had not been quantified. I suspect these files have never been reviewed. They may just dupliate other records already in possession of HQ, but there may also be some gems previously unknown to exist.

Considering your relationship with PT Boats Inc., as well as your own personal interest in PT engineering drawings, it might be worth everyone's while for you to explore a review of these files.

Hoping that's a project that you might undertake,
Ed B

Total Posts: 91 | Joined: Oct 26, 2006 - 5:31am | IP Logged



Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Dick   Send Email To Dick Posted on: Mar 27, 2009 - 11:41pm

Hi Ed . . . .

I think what your father had were 35mm positive microfilm copies.

To make readable copies of the microfilm usually involves having black line or blue line copies made at a convenient size, say, 36 x 48 or larger and most Repro or Blue Print companies charge between $8.00 - $12.00 per sheet to make copies from microfilm with no guaranty of quality. As you can imagine this could be a quit expensive venture.

I currently have 3 rolls of positive microfilm of ELCO engineering from the National Archives and the remaining 3 rolls on order awaiting delivery, it can take typically three to four weeks to get microfilm copies from the NARA. The time delay between orders was clearly a financial matter, you know, saving up before the next order so the wife doesnt get too upset at the cost. Actually shes quite forgiving for this passion of mine. If I remember correctly NARA charges $75.00 per roll.

Once I have all six, I will be sending them out to a company in Utah which has reasonable scanning to digital file prices, about $200 for the lot of 6 rolls. Each of the rolls contain about 1200 individual frames for a total of about 7,000 sheets. However most of the frames are extremely under or over exposed. Each roll has less then 25% usable or better stated, partially readable frames. With the digital files I will be able to examine the engineering on my computer screen avoiding the cost of having prints made, also the computer review of the files will be much easier then viewing the microfilm with typical film readers as I have done at the local library.

As a note, the first roll is strictly early ELCO 70 and 77 footers, the remaining 5 are ELCO 80 footers.

Im still prodding the NARA to find the Bureau of Ships microfilm for Higgins and Huckins boats, but so far have been disappointed with there searching. All the PT boat engineering should be contained in the Records Group 19 there at NARA. I hope to prod them further. Last year I had queried private researchers that provide a lookup service for a fee, but they were way, way out of my non-existent budget. They are typically used by corporations and/or publishing and documentary firms. But what the heck Ill keep bugging the NARA, maybe they might find something for me.

Its probably a good thing that the NARA is clear across the country in College Park MD or other wise Id probably be living there.

So much for a quick note. Thanks for the tip, HQ can be quite finicky about loaning materials out Ill check it out, and Thanks again.

All the best,
Dick . . .

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Ed B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed B  Posted on: Mar 28, 2009 - 8:11am

From your description, I would guess that my donated "file" was equivalent to only one roll of what is at NARA. The good news is that each of the film strips were individually inserted into a paper sleeve, so the film never saw the light of day for almost 60 years. Before I donated the file, I viewed several of the strips on a film reader at work, and the quality was excellent - of that sample, absolutely none were underexposed or overexposed.

Good luck!

Total Posts: 91 | Joined: Oct 26, 2006 - 5:31am | IP Logged

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