Some of our most precious moments get captured in photographs. Before digital cameras came along, many people kept photos in picture frames or albums.

Throughout many living rooms in homes across the country, you can still find displays like these. The problem now is that these photos are deteriorating. There could come a time, in the not too distant future, that the pictures will disintegrate, losing the image forever.

There’s a solution, though! This should be the way anyone who wants to preserve these precious memories needs to go about the matter.

A Brief History

Photography gets traced back to the early 1500s. However, it was during the mid-1800s that the process of turning the film into pictures was perfected. The type of photograph was called the daguerreotype, because of the inventor, Frenchman Louis Daguerre. These photos remained in use until the introduction of the commercial digital camera in 1990.

Daguerreotype Photographs

The way these get produced is by the camera taking a picture and storing it onto film. This is also called a negative. Then, by using unique materials, you create a photograph.  

Special paper gets used, and the image will appear on it from the film. The object gets dipped into a tray of chemicals to allow for the picture to appear, and then one final drop of liquid, which then fixes the photograph.

Why Photos Deteriorate

The nature of the chemicals used to create the photograph will leave it susceptible to the elements. UV light is one of the aggressors to old-style photos. This light interacts with the components of the photo and causes the picture to fade.

Toxins and other pollutants in your home can get under the glass of picture frames and cause hazardous results to the chemical composition of the photo.

Photographs stored in an album tend to deteriorate due to the chemicals in the fastening objects. It’s usually sticky tape or glue that clashes with the materials used to generate the picture in the first place.

What to Do

Photographs left in picture frames or albums run the risk of disintegrating entirely. The best solution is to have them scanned and digitized. That way, the memories get stored safely online to be viewed at any time and even re-printed to display again.

Many companies can provide this service, but you need to take care of the photos when getting them ready for the process. The people at EverPresent recommend being very careful when handling these old fragile items. 

They say that by wearing latex gloves when you touch the photos, you’ll ensure you don’t get oil from your fingers onto the image. This oil can also damage the picture by interacting with the chemical compound.

Don’t Leave Them on Display

As much as you want to show off these precious memories, you could risk losing them altogether if they fade away or disintegrate.

Due to how the photographs get produced, natural elements and you touching them means they won’t be around for very long. The solution is to convert them into online pictures, so you always have access to them. 

If handled correctly and converted by professionals, you’ll keep your lasting memories forever.

Contributed by:  Wendy Dessler