Thornton Academy football team 1895

by Alden Cole on October 9, 2016 · 0 comments

“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” – Paul William “Bear” Bryant (11 Sep 1913 – 26 Jan 1983)

1895_tafootballdamagedwpAmong the photographs in the Cole Family archives is one of Thornton Academy’s 1895 football team, which includes my grandfather Weymouth Harris Cole (14 Jan 1879 – 19 Nov 1973), back row, second from left, along with his older brother Winfield Lee Cole (30 Dec 1872 – 9 Nov 1944), back row, second from right. When I discovered the mounted photograph in Maine last week, I found it badly damaged, a small section of the right side having been completely severed from the original, leaving very jagged edges, as you can see in the photo above, if you look carefully, and even better in the detail below.

1895_tafootballbeforeafterwpCommitted to repairing the photo, I scanned the two sections, then set to work in Photoshop. Before tackling the primary task of repair – reconstructing the two faces on the right which required major surgery – I cleaned up the most obvious surface ‘noise’ that existed elsewhere on the print – the scratches and blemishes acquired during 120 years of non-archival care, since the photograph was originally printed. The heads of the two young men on the right were not easy; they leave room for improvement. Photoshop’s tools, while truly amazing, are still challenging to master.

1895_tafootballrepairedsharpenedwpAt left, the finished product; at least for now. Unlike an original print, I can continue to work on and improve the quality of this image if I choose; electronic images are always subject to revision. Underneath, is a close-up from the team photo of my grandfather Harris, whom I had the good fortune to know for the first
1895_tafootball_harriscole72twenty-nine years of my life. I remember his passing well, because it precipitated a life-passage of my own that coincided with my first Saturn Return. But that’s another story…

colebrothersrevwpBelow – The Cole Brothers dressed in their Thornton Academy football uniforms, most likely from 1896: my grandfather Harris at left, his older brother Lee in the middle, and their youngest brother Wendell Phillips Cole (25 Feb 1881 – 19 Jul 1952) on the right.

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