These images are from 4x5 inch glass plates taken in and around Charlestown Massachusetts around 1900. The photographer is unknown but was likely a relative or friend of John Lynch of Charlestown. The plates were willed to his daughter Rita Collins (maiden name Lynch).
The images were dated based on three images. The USS Constitution was used as a receiving ship at the Portsmouth Navy Yard between 1882 and 1897. It was during this time that the barracks structure seen in the picture was built on top of the hull. In 1897 it was moved to the Boston Navy Yard for restoration and the barracks was removed between then and 1907. Another picture that helps establish the date is the one identified as “new dry dock”. Dry dock number 2 was built at the Boston Navy Yard between 1898 and 1906. Lastly, the USS Vesuvius was in Boston between 1898 and 1904. The descriptions of the images are minimal and were written on the paper envelopes for the glass plates.
The plates were originally loaned to me in the early 1980's, at which time I made contact prints using variable contrast paper. There was a tremendous variation in density and contrast among the plates, which made contact printing difficult. The images here are from 2400 DPI wet scans made on an Epson 750 scanner. The emulsion was cleaned lightly with PEC-12 cleaner prior to scanning. The scans were then processed in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to even out the contrast, spot them for dust and scratches and to even out the exposure in some cases. Some negatives had significant damage around the edges and these areas were filled using Photoshop for cosmetic reasons in areas where there was minimal detail. No effort was made to do a full restoration.