Professor Robin Marshall FRS FInstP
History re-photographed: Bringing some of the past back to life.
 
Tel: 0161 275 4170

Mobile: 0772 0398 277
e-mail: Robin.Marshall (insert an at symbol) manchester.ac.uk

History re-photographed: This is a project to restore original greyscale images so that they contain a fair representation of the original colour content. A number of algorithms have been developed and some are continually being improved. The mathematical analysis and the necessary algorithms are the intellectual property of Robin Marshall and hence the colour component of the images here are copyright. Licences are avaliable for commercial use. Private use, beyond viewing the images on this web page is not permitted.To see a larger version, click on the image. All images are availabel at higher resolution,sometimes from 1600 pixels on the longest edge to over 3000 in some cases. Images to come: Arthur Schuster, W L Bragg and many more. If you have a wish, tell me who you would like to see in colour.

 

Index of images: | Augustus de Morgan | Edward Frankland | George de Hevesy | J J Thomson | J P Joule | Niels Bohr |Archibald Sandeman| George Gabriel Stokes | William Sturgeon |Earnest Rutherford | Hans Geiger with Earnest Rutherford | Balfour Stewart | Patrick Maynard Blackett | Robert Bellamy Clifton | William Jack | H G J Moseley | William Thomson/Lord Kelvin | Arthur Schuster |John Dalton|William Henry|

 

Augustus de Morgan

I chose the image of logician and mathematician Augustus de Morgan, because it was difficult and helped to develop the algorithms. I have not finished with this one yet and hope to eventually produce a version that does not look like a Victorian hand painted postcard.

Back to top index.

Edward Frankland

This restored photograph of Edward Frankland, the chemist who discovered valency during his tenure as Chemistry Professor at Owens College, is one of the most pleasing results and could be mistaken for an Ektachrome.

Back to top index.

Edward Frankland

This is an earlier coloured photograph of Edward Frankland, dating from his days as Chemistry Professor at Owens in the 1850s. Given the poor quality of the original, the result was better than expected.

Back to top index.

George de Hevesy

George de Hevesy worked in Rutherford's department at Manchester University just before World War 1 and as a result of being given an impossible task by Rutherford, to prove his salt, he thought laterally and devised radioactive tracing for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize.

Back to top index.

J J Thomson

This rare photo of J J Thomson as a student was my first attempt 18 years ago and it looks pale. I used the simplest algorithm possible and it worked to an extent. I shall shortly apply all the new algorithms and place the results side by side to show my progress.

Back to top index.

James Joule

This photograph of James Prescott Joule was taken by Lady Roscoe, the wife of Manchester chemistry professor Henry Enfield Roscoe (who succeeded Edward Frankland). The conversion was a good result.

Back to top index.

Joule 1863 Oil

James Prescott Joule was painted by Geroge Patten in 1863. The painting was destroyed during an air raid on Manchester in 1944. However, a good quality stell plate engraving was made for Jouole's obituary and I have a good print off that. It then becomes a long story to recreate a new 1863 oil painting, which is not George Patten's 150 year old painting, but which in 150 years will have taken its place in science history. The image here shows how things are comrg along. There is still some way to go. A 95x70cm oil on canvas will exist by this time next year.

Back to top index.

Niels Bohr

I enjoyed bringing the young Niels Bohr back to life. The skin, eye and hair tones were rewarding.

Back to top index.

Archibald Sandeman

Archibald Sandeman was the first professor of mathematics at Owens College. The photograph, although superficially of good quality, presented problems due to the uniform flat facial tones in the original image which challenge my topological greyscale to colour algorithm which like a dynamic span. Some improvement may yet be possible.

Back to top index..

George  Gabriel Stokes

The original photograph of George Gabriel Stokes used here is not the best quality but I wanted one from the period when he wrote a letter of advice to Owens College recommending that they hire a dedicated natural philosophy (physics) professor to do the work that Archibald Sandeman had been assigned to do, but was not doing. Stokes was one of the most photographed physcists of the 19th Century and I shall eventually do a better one of him. This photo echoes the style of many oil portraits of the time, in the pose of the sitter and his apparatus laid out on a nearby table.

Back to top index.

William Sturgeon

William Sturgeon of Manchester was Mr Electricity during the first half of the 19th century and like Joule, did his research outside the infrastructure of a University simply because the only allowed Universities in England were the religious colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, which were not open to people like Joule and Sturgeon, even if they wanted to go there, which they didn't. This image of William Sturgeon presented a challenge because it was an engraving made off an oil painting which is now lost. Engravings were a hand version of half tone prints which rendered obsolete the engraving of steel plates by hand. This engraving required additional pre-algorithms which sometimes yield unexpected results like the grid lines used by the engraver to keep himself on the right track. I haven't finished with this one.

Back to top index.

Ernest Rutherford

Earnest Rutherford of Earnest Rutherford of Manchester was a scientific colossus of the 20th Century. There are few if any colour images of him and this re-photograph was created by mapping facial and hair colours from oil portraits. Again I haven't quite finished here.

Back to top index.

 

Geiger & Rutherford

Hans Geiger & Earnest Rutherford were photographed in the Coupland Street laboratories in 1910. Half a century later students were still carrying out experiments on that teak bench against a background of green Victorian wall tiles.

Back to top index.

 

Balfour Stewart Balfour Stewart

Balfour Stewart was hired as Professor of Physics at Manchester University, the first time that the word "Physics" was used in the title of the chair.

Back to top index..

Patrick Maynard Blackett

Patrick Maynard Blackett, Nobel Laureate, Director of the Physical Laboratories in Manchester from 1937 to 1953 was rarely photographed in colour. In this portrait, he has a "mourning ribbon" pinned to his jacket lapel, possibly for Rutherford, which would place the photograph in 1937, although he looks older than that.

Back to top index.

Robert Bellamy Clifton

Robert Bellamy Clifton is the main reason why Manchester had become a world leading centre for physics research and discoveries by the start of WW1, whereas Oxford hadn't. Clifton was hired as the first dedicated professor of Natural Philosophy in Manchester in 1860 and moved to Oxford in 1865, where he not only did no research for 50 years but prevented others from doing it. Meranwhile, Manchester hired Rutherford.

Back to top index.

William Jack

William Jack was erstwhile Professor of Natural Philosophy at Owens College Manchester (1866-1870) and thereafter Editor of the Glasgow Herald and Professor of Mathematics at Glasgow University.

Back to top index.

Henry G J Moseley colour image

Henry G J Moseley essentially carried out all of his reasearch at Manchster University before borrowing a bench at Oxford, where he spent a few months unpaid, before setting off to Turkey in WWI, where he was killed in action. At Manchester, despite disapproval from Rutherford, he used X-rays to sort out the periodic table, designating Z, the atomic numbers as the ordering number, rather than A, the atomic mass.

Back to top index.

Young Moseley in Colour  
Lord Kelvin William Thomson Colour Image Lord Kelvin William Thomson Image

Irish physicist and mathematician William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin would never had heard the word "Kodachrome", but being amenable to innovation,he may well have approved of the algorithms that brought colour to his portraits.

Back to top index..

William Thomson eventual Lord Kelvin graduation colour portrait    
Arthur Schuster 1873 colour image  

Arthur Schuster's first appointment at Manchester was in 1873, the year he got his PhD from Heildelberg and the year the photograph on the left was taken.

Back to top index..

John Dalton  

There are a few oil paintings and copies of oil paintings of John Dalton around. The one in the Friends Meeting House, opposite the side of the Manchester Town Hall has not been well looked after. This Fotocolour restoration has been made from a mezzotint. I love mezzotints. They have a scale of density and they look almost like a photograph. I am proud of this one. It is unique.

Back to top index.

 

The oil painting from which the engraving was made, from which I created this Fotocolour image, has long since vanished. This is the first time William Henry has been seen in colour for probably, two centuries apart from a murkey tobacco coated verion in the former UMIST Council Chamber from which I was able to deduce that his cravate was yellow. I still have to put the yellow in..

 

Back to top index.

 

 

 

  free counters

Back to Robin's home page