• Lehigh Valley Transit " Liberty Bell Limited "

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by JimBoylan
 
V ery good and thank you.
How much to buy a copy?

  by Schuylkill Valley
 
Hi Jim ,
I'm glad you like that. I have a few more that I'm going to post soon.

Two more on the Liberty Bell Limited

A clip on the Easton Transit system

And a clip on the Wilkes-Barre Transit.

All filmed by Mr. George W. Gerhart

Len.

  by Franklin Gowen
 
Nice video, Len. Digitizing analog movie film from that era is a non-trivial endeavor. It's somehow strange to see a traction operation; one that I'd previously only seen in "stills"; suddenly in motion. A shame that the old 8mm film is so inferior to a clear, sharp print of a still photograph, especially given the non-professional limitations of the original filmographer and his equipment. Oh, well... since the Liberty Bell Route folded in 1951, it's 56 years too late for Mr. Gerhart to change his mind and save up for a 16mm movie camera instead of the 8mm! :) I'm grateful for the work you've put into this venture - I imagine that it took a while.

That first sequence is my favorite. The panorama view strongly resembles the Lanark/Blue Church area, between Center Valley and the duckunder beneath Route 309. ZOOM! The operator of that 1000-series car must have had a pilot's license...he sure was flying mighty low that day. :P Easy to see how LVT competed with the Reading's steam-powered Bethlehem Branch service.

I offer one modest correction: the 7th and Hamilton Streets segment was mis-captioned as being in Norristown. The location was actually Allentown - you can see Allentown's distinctive "Soldiers and Sailors' Monument" on the left edge of the frame.

I'm looking forward to future video clips of those long-gone PA traction operations. Will the next two LVT clips also be from the Philadelphia Division / "Liberty Bell Route"?

  by Schuylkill Valley
 
Hi Frank,
Yes on the Philadelphia area. one shot at 69th. street with the P&W in the background.

Take care,
Len.

  by JhnZ33
 
Franklin Gowen wrote:Digitizing analog movie film from that era is a non-trivial endeavor. It's somehow strange to see a traction operation; one that I'd previously only seen in "stills"; suddenly in motion. A shame that the old 8mm film is so inferior to a clear, sharp print of a still photograph, especially given the non-professional limitations of the original filmographer and his equipment. Oh, well... since the Liberty Bell Route folded in 1951, it's 56 years too late for Mr. Gerhart to change his mind and save up for a 16mm movie camera instead of the 8mm! :) I'm grateful for the work you've put into this venture - I imagine that it took a while.
While 8mm film will never match that of a 35mm slide, it is possible (with the right equipment) to get a sharp clear video image from the transfer.

I own specialized telecine machines which capture both 8mm/Super 8mm and soon 16mm film frame by frame for the sharpest, cleanest transfer possible. The results are quite amazing.

I am an archivist and railroad preservationist. If anyone is interested in getting any film that is railroad related transferred, I will VOLUNTEER my services to do so, as long as the transfer will be used for NON-PROFIT and I am given proper credit for the transfer (If the transfer WILL be used for profit, we can discuss a nominal per foot charge).

The film will be captured to a Mini-DV or DVD master, you just cover the cost of the blank master medium (mini-DV tape or DVD) and shipping. There will be no editing done to the master. If editing is desired, we can discuss a rate.

You can contact me by Private message or by email JhnZ33 at netscape dot net

John

EDIT: I have added a sample frame of 8mm film shot in Wilkes-Barre, Pa in 1968. While not one of my sharpest transfers by far, you can see you CAN achieve good results with the proper equipment. The only limiting factor would be how well the film was shot.

Image
Last edited by JhnZ33 on Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

  by JhnZ33
 
One more frame:

Image

  by TB Diamond
 
jhn: Would the ASA rating of the 8mm film be a factor affecting the sharpness of the image?

  by walt
 
Great video! Just a couple of things, though. First the title is a bit misleading. LVT's Liberty Bell Route didn't really exist during most of the 1950's, having been abandoned in 1951. Through service between Allentown and 69th Street ended in 1949. At that time the cars were turned at Norristown. Most of the scenes in the video are from the 1940's.

One scene in the video shows one of the cars running backwards. This was the method used to turn the single ended cars at Norristown after 1949 --- they ran into the 2nd story Norristown P&W terminal, unloaded, then were backed several blocks to LVT's Norristown yards, where they were Wyed.( This is why the single ended cars had a front trolley pole) They then ran back to the P&W Terminal--- backwards again----- to load northbound passengers.

  by JhnZ33
 
TB Diamond wrote:jhn: Would the ASA rating of the 8mm film be a factor affecting the sharpness of the image?
It certainly could. If the improper film or settings were used during the shoot, a whole host of problems can occur. The higher the speed rating on the film, the grainier it can look. In the same respect, if a low speed rating is used, fast motion shots can become blurred.

Photography is somewhat of an artform (and a profession). Knowing what film, settings and proper filters to use for the particular shoot will go a long way to getting a great shot.

Some issues can be fixed in post (editing) after the transfer to a digital medium. Issues like color balance and exposure can be corrected quite effectively. Other issues like the sharpness, grain and noise are much harder, if not impossible to correct.

Here is the original frame of film from the 8mm film shot in Wilkes-Barre before correction. You'll notice it has a red tint to it from age and overall is less sharp with more noise. A little time spent in post can make dramatic changes.

Image

  by Schuylkill Valley
 
That's all well and good to know you could do that with 8mm film, but what you don't know is that this video is from a 2nd. copy from a VHS video That a friend had in his collection of video's. Mr. Gerhart was a friend of his.

My friend was the late Art Acker of Reading, Pa. He and Mr. Gerhart and four others started the Reading Company Iron Horse Rambles, of the 1960's.

The information I have on the video is coming from Mr. Gerhart's narrations on the video. I can't put his voice on the video clips because of the projector noise in the back ground. This video was made at the Reading Shops in Reading, Pa., back in 1987 on an Railfan weekend of the Blue Mountain & Reading Special.

I thought I could share the video with all of you , since it was a long time ago, that any of these trolleys ran.

Len.
Last edited by Schuylkill Valley on Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by Franklin Gowen
 
Len: don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed the video. Likewise, I thank you for posting the link to the uploaded copy.

Obviously when we were discussing the limitations of the original film footage, nobody other than you knew that we were seeing a digital transfer of a second-generation analog copy. I'm glad you mentioned it; that explains a lot.

In the same vein, I certainly can't hold you responsible for narrative errors made by the original filmographer regarding location info. I understand that you took his information on faith as the right data...no way for you to know if any of it is the wrong data. I'm not blaming you.

  by JhnZ33
 
Schuylkill Valley wrote:That's all well and good to know you could do that with 8mm film, but what you don't know is that this video is from a 2nd. copy from a VHS video That a friend had in his collection of video's. Mr. Gerhart was a friend of his.

I thought I could share the video with all of you , since it was a long time ago, that any of theses trolleys ran.

Len.
I see. It was definitely nice to see the video you linked to, regardless of the source.

The offer still stands to anyone interested in transferring and digitizing railroad related film. We must preserve what's left out there.

John

  by walt
 
Franklin Gowen wrote:Len: don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed the video.
In the same vein, I certainly can't hold you responsible for narrative errors made by the original filmographer regarding location info. I understand that you took his information on faith as the right data...no way for you to know if any of it is the wrong data. I'm not blaming you.
Ditto here---Like Franklin, my "caveats" were offered more to "correct the record", and not to imply criticism, especially since there are very few people around today that ever got to ride the LVT ( and I'm NOT one of them) The scenes in that video are the only scenes I've ever seen of the LVT in action, and they are extremely valuable exactly as they are.

  by Schuylkill Valley
 
I have the second film done. I'll be posting it soon. It's of the Liberty Bell Limited in and around the Philadelphia area. The film is from 1946

Len.