Thomas Chatfield – At the Start of the Civil War

Thomas Chatfield

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck.

This photo was probably shot in New York City or Brooklyn shortly before Chatfield was ordered to the USS Somerset as acting master.

He would have been 31 years-old at the time of this photo, recently returned from San Francisco and his first successful voyage as captain of the whaler “Massachusetts” his fourth Pacific whaling voyage in all aboard that ship.

OCR still sucks

I bought a Canon 8400F to scan some photos for the Chatfield project and to attempt to accelerate the transcription of his Civil War letters. The photos are fine. No big deal there. A scanner is a scanner and I use the “import” function through Photoshop to grab the pictures, crop, save as .psd and .jpg.

Getting the thing to recognize simple typescript is another matter altogether. While I think it is faster than a 100 wpm transcription exercise, the typescript is so messy due to strikeouts and the preservation of Chatfield’s bad spelling that I spend a good five or ten minutes per page cleaning things up in an interface that isn’t too intuitive to play with. I’m using Omnipage SE Ver. 2.

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