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Subject: Ticker tape

Ticker tape

From: Jo Dillon <jd241>
Date: Friday, December 20, 2002
John Castronovo <jcc [at] nac__net> writes

>I have in my possession a faded strip of ticker tape. The owner
>would like me to reveal the writing on it so that it can be
>reproduced. Infrared photography up to 800nm reveals nothing. Any
>suggestions?

Try and find someone with a VSC (Video spectral comparator (?)).
This is used by forensic scientists, mainly to read faint, erased,
defaced or altered writing, on documents such as cheques or wills.
It has also been used to good effect on medieval manuscripts.
Testing is non-destructive. The object is placed in a large chamber
(ticker tape would fit no problem) and exposed to a range of
wavelengths, in various lighting conditions, including raking,
reflected and transmitted light. It's not always possible to recover
anything, but it has had some remarkably good results.

The Forensic Science Dept. at Anglia Polytechnic University (APU),
Hills Road, Cambridge has a VSC. They might be able to advise you on
other institutions with one, or other suitable methods. Contact Dr.
Trevor Emmett <t.f.emmett [at] anglia__ac__uk>

Jo Dillon,
Metals Conservator
Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RB
+44 1223 332930 / 332900
Fax: +44 1223 332923


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:41
                Distributed: Wednesday, January 8, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-41-004
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 20 December, 2002

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