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Subject: A death

A death

From: Doug Nishimura <dwnpph>
Date: Wednesday, August 4, 1999
I just wanted to mention the passing of one of the early pioneers of
photo preservation. John Calhoun is probably a name that most people
currently in the field don't know. While much of his work at Kodak
dealt with the physical properties and dimensional stability of
film, he was also involved with film preservation. Papers such as
<Effect of Nitrogen Oxide Gases on Processed Acetate Film> are still
quoted in preservation research today. Probably his discussion
entitled "Preservation of Photographic Records" in the
<Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Physics> published by Pergamon Press
between 1961 and 1964 was the first of its kind. He also presented a
paper at SAA in 1966 entitled, "The Preservation of Motion-Picture
Film" which was subsequently published in <The American Archivist>.
Finally he was the chair of ASA subcommittee PH1-3, a sub-committee
of the Photographic Films, Plates, and Papers committee PH1. This
sub-committee eventually became ANSI Committee IT9. At that time
there were only four standards including the Definition of Safety
Film and the Specification for Photographic Films for Permanent

Many conservators probably use some of Calhoun's research without
even knowing it. He produced the definitive paper that proved that
(new) film could be safely stored refrigerated or frozen prior to
use. Certainly we buy film by the brick and freeze it.

Calhoun's other contribution to the field was rather indirect. In
1949, he hired a new graduate (from his alma mater, McGill
University), a (Dr.) Peter Adelstein. Peter says that Calhoun was
probably responsible for almost everything that he (Peter) knows
about the behavior of film. As some of you know, Calhoun passed
along the ANSI chairmanship to Peter when Calhoun retired from
standards work. Peter also eventually took over Calhoun's (former)
lab at Kodak.

    John M. Calhoun
    Born November 15, 1912, Calgary, Alberta (Canada)
    Died July 25, 1999, Sarasota, Florida


                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:12
                 Distributed: Wednesday, August 4, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-13-12-001
Received on Wednesday, 4 August, 1999

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