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Jerry-Mac Restored Old Photos at the Maker Space. You Can, Too!

November 23, 2020 — Jerry-Mac Johnston made a mountain of friends in his decades as an actor on stages from Vienna, Austria, to Seattle, Washington. Along the way, he captured their smiles and antics with his 33mm Pentax on now-vintage photo slides.

He’s one of those rare people who still sends handwritten letters, stays in touch with old friends and, occasionally, loves looking through 40-50 years’ worth of those slides.

Lately he’d been toying with what to do with all those slides – roughly 2,400 of them. And then he figured, if he got such a kick out of reminiscing about old times, old friends would, too. But, how to convert them – too pricey for him on the commercial market – and share them long distance?

 He found the answer at the library’s new Maker Space in the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library. Video transfer equipment lets you convert and save slides and 35mm film negatives, VHS and DVD movies to a USB drive or SD card, which you provide. There is no charge. With initial help from staff, he learned how to load the slides and enhance the old images. He even restored the clarity and color of slides he thought were hopeless.  

Once he converted some slides to a flash drive, he fired up his computer at home and started emailing the snapshots to friends.

“People have really responded to it:  ‘Oh, did we do that?’ ‘We looked like that?’” The way old friends do.

Chances are, you have boxes of old photo slides stashed on a closet shelf, too, and they hold good memories. The Maker Space can help you preserve them.

The video transfer equipment is just one piece of “maker” equipment. You can use a laser engraver for signs, program a vinyl cutter for iron-on transfers for T-shirts, bags or signs, make replacement parts with the 3D printer, or repair electronic components or jewelry at the solder station.

Make an appointment to tour or use the grant-funded Maker Space by calling the Edge at 417-837-5011.  

And if you’re a longtime friend of Jerry-Mac, don’t be surprised if you get an email snapshot someday and his greeting, “Thought you might get a kick out of these. Recognize any of these people?”


Kathleen O'Dell
Community Relations Director
(417) 616-0564
Sarah Jane Rosendahl
(417) 616-0566

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