Episode 56 - Found and Returned: WW II Medals in a Dumpster... and... Can Family History Raise Your Kids' IQ?

podcast episode Sep 08, 2014

Fisher opens by talking about his recent experience at the FGS Conference in San Antonio.  In "Family Histoire News" he tells us about what is believed to be the biggest hurricane in New England history. When did it hit?  1635!  Hear what is known about the largest hurricane no one has ever heard of. Then, Fisher has the story of the discovery of cave that may prove that Neanderthals may have been able to create art!  
Guest Janet Hovorka joins the show from FamilyChartmasters.com.  Janet has been gathering information on studies that demonstrate the effect of family history knowledge on the IQs and emotional growth of children.  You'll be amazed at what she has to say.
Then, Shawn Harvey of Cincinnati, Ohio visits with Fisher about a scene that made his blood boil.  He watched as a man tossed a shadowbox into a dumpster.  Learn what was in that shadowbox and the lengths he went to to return the treasures to its rightful owner.
Then Tom Perry returns with some important advice on scanning your old photos, as well as news about a new invention that you are going to LOVE!
That's this week on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio!

Transcript of Episode 56

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 56

Fisher: Hola Genies! And welcome to another edition of Extreme Genes Family History Radio, America’s Family History Show where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth. Fresh back after spending half of last week in San Antonio for the FGS conference. “The Federation of Genealogical Societies” I stayed at a place called the Menger Hotel that first opened in 1859. It’s got ghosts! I didn’t see any, but it is right across the street from the Alamo. You’ve got to see it if you ever have the opportunity. Well, we’ve got some great guests today, first our friend Janet Hovorka from FamilyChartmasters.com. Janet has been digging into the effects of sharing family history with your kids. What does it do for them and their development? Well there are amazing studies being done on this and you’ll want to hear what she has to say about it. Imagine the tales of your crazy uncle Ralph could be making your kids smarter and better balanced, who knew? That’s in about 9 minutes. And then, later in the show we’re going to talk to a dumpster diver named Shawn Harvey. He’s from the Cincinnati area, and recently watched as something was being dumped and he was infuriated when he discovered what it was. You’ll want to hear about the lengths he went to get the piece back into the family to which it properly belonged. Then, Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com returns, talking about photographs scanning and the proper dpi. He’ll also tell you about an astonishing new product for keeping track of your heirlooms and other household stuff that I think we’ve all been waiting for. You’re going to want to hear that. Checking the results for our ExtremeGenes.com survey from last week, “Did you know an ancestor who had false teeth?” Yeah, false teeth are not nearly as common as they once were. 75% of you answered, “Yes” you personally knew an ancestor with the fake choppers. Now, when I was 4, my mom’s father from Oregon came to visit us in Connecticut, and that was always an event because he lives so far away. He did this thing where he had me twist his left ear and as I did he would push on his false teeth with his tongue and out they would come from his mouth. Well, of course as a preschooler I thought this was fantastic, and so when he came with my folks to pick me up from preschool one day, I invited my grandfather in front of all the teachers and my little friends, to show everyone how his teeth would come. I mean, who else in the world could do that? Mom and gramps hushed me up pretty quick and that was the end of that. 

Okay, this week our survey at ExtremeGenes.com reads as follows, “How far back does your earliest ancestral photo go by generation; parent, grandparent, great grandparents, second great grandparents, third great grandparent, fourth great grandparent or earlier?” This will be an interesting one, cast your vote now at ExtremeGenes.com. Okay, a couple of things about the show, everyone in San Antonio went nuts for our free Extreme Genes podcast app. If you have an iPhone or an Android, your app store has it, just type in Extreme Genes, press the download button and it is yours. You can catch up on all of our previous shows with kinds of information, with terrific expert guests and great stories, at the push of a button. If you have a great story of discovery or an ancestor you’d like to brag about, email me at [email protected] or call our toll free Find Line at 1-234-56-GENES. That’s 1-234-56-GENES, G-E-N-E-S, we would love to hear about it, and if you have comments or questions, we’d love to hear those too. You can also “Like” us on our Extreme Genes Facebook page. It is time once again for your family histoire news from the pages of ExtremeGenes.com. Our first story has to do with weather, if you have early New England ancestry as I do and many Americans do, you might not know, as I didn’t, that on this past August 26th it was the 379th anniversary of a hurricane that is thought to have been the largest ever to pound Southern New England. It’s referred to as the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635. Yeah, based on accounts of Massachusetts written at the time some 46 people died. The storm surge was in the area of 20 feet and sustained winds were estimated 135 miles an hour. This storm happened less than fifteen years after the arrival of the pilgrims at Plymouth. Their governor William Bradford wrote that the hurricane quote “Blew down sundry houses and uncovered others, diverse vessels were lost at sea and it made many of the Indians climb into trees for their safety. By today’s standards, the national weather says the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 was a category three, much more powerful than the Great Hurricane of 1938 with a storm surge of 10-12 feet in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. That storm of course killed many more people, over 600 as the New England states were much more populated than they had been in 1635. It is unbelievable to me that even with the small population of the time only 46 folks lost their lives in 1635.

Discovery.com has a great story about the discovery of a cave near the ocean at Gibraltar. In the back of the cave the bedrock was found to be marked with a type of grid or as they call it, a hashtag. Scientist now believes that Neanderthal created that artwork using a stone tool some 39 thousand years ago by the light of a campfire. The place is called Gorham's Cave and was discovered two years ago. It’s the first time researchers had ever found something that suggests Neanderthal may have created art. The director of the Gibraltar museum Clive Finlayson says the work was clearly intentional, not just a random effort. He also noted significantly that the design was an indication of abstract thinking, suggesting that Neanderthals may have been much closer to humans cognitively than ever thought before. To really nail down whether the design was intentional, the researchers decided to try and recreate the original markings elsewhere in the cave using stone tools that previous researchers had left behind over half a century ago. Their conclusion, the work was indeed deliberate and not the result of cutting up animal skin against the rock bed. Nonetheless, the researchers say the work is very fundamental and far from the type of art that could be created by a human being. A fascinating story of course and you can read all the details from our link at ExtremeGenes.com. And that’s your family histoire news for this week, and coming up next, she’s a well known family history speaker and creates the most amazing family history charts. And recently she’s been delving into special research that is showing that family history for children actually increases their intelligence. You’re going to want to hear more about this, it’s coming up next with Janet Hovorka in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com

Segment 2 Episode 56

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Janet Hovorka

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com Its America’s Family History Show. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth with my good friend Janet Hovorka. She is back. Janet and I just ran into each other in San Antonio at the FGS Conference, and it was a great time, wasn’t it Janet?

Janet: We had a great time. San Antonio is a beautiful place. 

Fisher: It is great to have you back on the show and I’m going to admit right now that I pushed Janet just a little bit out of her comfort zone, because Janet’s working on this thing that, and I’m going to leave it to you to describe Janet, but you’re not ready yet. I mean you’re not done, but I think it is so cool and so important that you found so much on this anyway that maybe we starting introducing people to the concept and where you’re going with. Then when we get your final report, you know, we can go in that direction. So let’s start out with this.

Janet: Okay.

Fisher: And I like your comparison here with say, smoking, back in the 50s. 

Janet: Yeah. So in the 50s, we knew smoking wasn’t good for you but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it right? Well, we’ve known for a long time that family history is good for you. Like if you read in my book, I talk about emotional healing, and realizing your potential, finding a hero in your life. I talk about being enveloped in love and the strengthening of relationships that it comes from, and then the perspective that it gives you on life. Well, about three months after I published my book, there was some publicity on a psychology study that got me curious, that was talking about the same kind of stuff but calling it different things. Instead of calling it perspective on life it was calling it resilience that family history brings to children and I can give you some more details on that too, or instead of enveloping them in love, and building strengths and relationships, it was calling it “Giving your family a common narrative” and what I’m finding is, and you’re right, I’m in the middle of this so you going to have to stay tuned, but it’s basically the psychology community has been talking about for a long, long time. They’re just using different words than a lot of us are. And a lot of them are buried in scholarly studies and things like that, but they’ve known for a long time that family history is a key important part of raising healthy children and being an emotionally healthy adult. And so, just like in the 50s you knew smoking wasn’t good for you but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it, but then in the 50s and 70s you know, we found out that there’s all these carcinogens and things like that, and it’s come in to our common culture now that there are fewer smokers and it’s not healthy. I’m hoping that this is the start of really coming to know scientifically and into our cultural narrative that family history is really an important part of raising healthy children and being a good parent, but also being emotional happy yourself. 

Fisher: What I like about what you just said here, was a new word that was kind of introduced. Because we typically speak about it as providing a foundation and I think it’s more philosophical as most family historians like to look at it, because we see these effects all the time as we share things with children. 

Janet: Right.

Fisher: But you used the word “resilience” and resilience indicates to me strength, and that’s something that maybe we don’t observe so much. But science is now beginning to prove that’s exciting.

Janet: Yes. And either psychology studies with children and adolescence, and they’ve been blind studies and all sorts of things to study what family history does for you or for adults, and it really is, as my friend Amy Carson says, boom goes the science. You know we’ve known this, but now I’m finally kind of uncovering the science to this. You know, we’ve known for fifteen years that family dinners are important and the psychology world has known that when you go to therapy, sometimes it’s about your parents and even your grandparents, but we haven’t quite put our finger on what it is. And what I’m trying to find is that this intergeneration transmission, it’s this way that we pass things down, and understanding it and knowing about your family history is a cleaner and more emotionally healthy way to pass things down. So yeah, resilience is a big one, and if you think about it, it really isn’t rocket science. Resilience is something that happens at the dinner table when mom or grandma says, “Oh, you can deal with your piano lessons. Your uncle had to deal with that too.” And then, “Pass me the peas.” You know? Just move on with life. Your family has dealt with it and so you can deal with it too.

Fisher: [Laughs] Now you mentioned, I was at one of the talks you gave not too long ago at a family history conference, and you talked about a challenge in your life that came along and you were helped out by something that happened to you way back what, in the Depression? Or something like that. Can you review that with us?

Janet: Yeah. Yeah. I talk about that in my book as well, and again, I knew what it was I just didn’t have a scientific backing to it. The same thing happened to me once, as I went through a really harsh divorce at a very young age and it kind of blew my world apart. I had a really distinct childhood, got married and thought everything was perfect and that I was going to be with this person forever. And was in it about a year, year and a half that all dissolved. And it blew my world apart. I could not understand what was happening and I had a lot of emotional issues from that. And at that same time I was given a history of my great grandmother. It was just twenty pages or so that she had written and she had lost her husband at a similar age. She had two children at the time and her husband had died from an Appendicitis attack while he was on a business trip. And she talked about how lonely it was, and she talked about a lot of the same issues that I was dealing with. But I knew her at the time, she was over eighty two or so and I knew who she had grown up to be, and I knew that things were going to be okay, and that gave me that push to say, “I can do this too. It’s in my DNA.” You know, you find a family hero and every family has them no matter how dysfunctional. Somebody somewhere there’s a hero. Just keep looking. There’s a hero in there. This great grandmother became a hero to me that she survived that and moved through and done other things and I knew that I could be okay too and it gave me resilience.  

Fisher: It gave you the resilience, right.

Janet: It gave me that perspective on life that the current crisis isn’t the only important part, that you have resilience, because other people gone before you and moved through it as well. And if you can give something to a teenager, by definition a teenager needs that perspective and that resilience.

Fisher: You think about a kid who is a teenager, and where were any of us when we were in our teens you know? We’re trying to find our way in a social world. We’re thinking about oh where am I going to go to college? What am I going to do for a career? I mean, our time frame and our time experience is so limited, but of course, how do we know that? We haven’t lived any longer than that. So in essence, by going back I guess, and gathering all this material, or at least having it shared with us at that age, it makes sense to me that our roots get dug deeper and somehow we gain more life experience through the life experience of those who came before us. 

Janet: Absolutely. Emory University, I think that we talked about this a little bit last time I was on your show, the psychology department at Emory University, Marshall Duke and Robyn Fivush have been studying there with adolescence. They’ve been studying what they know of their family history. They developed a twenty question test to kind of test children about their family history and then they’ve gone through and tested those children with other psychological tests. And they found that adolescence who know more about their family history and have a better sense of what they call the intergenerational cell, do better in therapy, they do better with tragedy, they have more self understanding and they’re able to deal with the big struggles of life. But then I found another study that I got to tell you about that was in the European journal of social psychology. And this study actually tests family history, and thinking about family versus intelligence test.

Fisher: Wow!

Janet: You actually score higher on intelligence test. And they did four studies. The first one is that they had people think about their deep roots like the 15th century, like their ancestors in the 15th century, they had the second group thinking about great grandparents, and then the third group, the control group just thought about their last shopping trip.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Janet: And the people who had been thinking about their ancestors scored a higher on the intelligence test. The second one, they had them construct a family tree for a few minutes, and then the control group thought about a shopping experience. Again, the people who were contemplating their ancestry did better on the intelligence test. The third one and the first group spent some time thinking about family members and the second group spent some time thinking about good friends, the people who had been thinking about family members scored higher on intelligence tests. And then the fourth one, and this is the most interesting one, they’re called the likeability test, and that was they had a group thinking about the positive aspects of their ancestors, they had another group thinking about negative aspects of their ancestors, and a third control group. And then the two groups thinking about their ancestors even the negative ones, scored higher on intelligence test.

Fisher: Isn’t that interesting? Because you would think that the negative ones might have a bad influence on kids or something because they think they come from bad roots or something. But you know obviously as you’ve mentioned before, we all come from scoundrels and heroes and there’s a little scoundrel in our heroes and a little hero in our scoundrels. 

Janet: Well, you can learn just as much about decisions and consequences of life, you can learn just as much from those scoundrels as you can from the heroes. And like we said, there’s some of all of that in everybody too. That’s one of the beauties of family history too, it teaches you to be generous to everyone because you can see that over a span of a life, people make mistakes and people do better. All people struggle against what they’re given in life and it just makes you a more generous person too I think. 

Fisher: Well you know, it’s a fascinating study and I’m glad you’re pursuing this and you’re going to be doing lectures on it and a book I would assume?

Janet: I am. I’ve got a lecture for Roots Tech in February and then I’ll be publishing stuff on my blog the ZapTheGrandmaGap blog. I’ll be publishing things there that I’m finding out, and yeah, I may have to write another book about this [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Janet: Because it’s really fascinating stuff about what knowing about your family history can do for you emotionally. It’s just emotionally healthy.

Fisher: Emotionally and in intelligence.

Janet: And in intelligence, and probably I expect to find more too. 

Fisher: She’s Janet Hovorka from FamilyChartmasters.com. Janet, always great to have you on the show, fascinating stuff you’re learning there and sharing with us and thanks so much for your time. 

Janet: Thanks for having me on. 

Fisher: And coming up next, he’s a guy who never served in the military but has an enormous respect for the military, and he recently made a discovery that made a family whole. You going to want to hear this hero’s story coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 3 Episode 56

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Shawn Harvey

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes Family History Radio, America's Family History Show. It is Fisher here. And I'm excited to have this guy on the line, Shawn Harvey from the Cincinnati area. Hi, Shawn, welcome to the show!

Shawn: Hi, how are you?

Fisher: We are doing great, and so glad to have you on because you're a hero to me. I mean, I'm always searching the internet to try to find interesting stories to share on the show. And yours just really caught me immediately, it’s like, "I've got to talk to this guy."

Shawn: Well, thank you.

Fisher: Let's just set this up a little bit. You were, were you working? Where were you when you had this experience?

Shawn: I'm currently unemployed, so I do flea marketing and I do picking, dumpster diving.

Fisher: Dumpster diving! Absolutely! It’s fun.

Shawn: [Laughs] Something I can sell or something I scrap.

Fisher: Okay. And what's some of the best stuff by the way over the years that you've found doing that?

Shawn: Well, I find some older suitcases which they sell. I just, you know, I can find all kinds of things in there.

Fisher: And so you're eyeing this dumpster this one day, not far from your home, and what do you see?

Shawn: It was actually a dumpster that was in my storage unit.

Fisher: Okay.

Shawn: And as I drove out to get some gas for the truck, get me something to drink, I noticed this guy unloading his storage unit. And when I came back through, he was gone, I looked in the dumpster and I found pretty much new stuff. I pulled out this rubber tub and on the top of it there was this binder that had a tribute to fallen officers, most of them from Cincinnati. I took that then to the main police station and they turned it over to Cincinnati police, but below it was this gentleman, this pack of ribbons, medals, they had his dog tag in it.

Fisher: World War II era ribbons and medals in a dumpster, unbelievable!

Shawn: Yeah. I just couldn't let that go. I got extremely, I started fuming!

Fisher: Now this was kept in a, was it framed? How was it presented?

Shawn: Yeah, it was in a frame.

Fisher: Okay.

Shawn: It was done neat.

Fisher: And how large was it?

Shawn: It was about a 10x12.

Fisher: So it’s a good size. And how many medals and ribbons were in there?

Shawn: Let's see, there's a marksman medal, a sharpshooter’s medal, four ribbons, his dog tag, a patch of the type of unit, plus there's a picture of him and wife that were in it.

Fisher: It makes you wonder how it ever left the family doesn't it.

Shawn: Well, from what I heard, the one grandson, he got all bent out of shape with family anyway. He took it. He stole it from his uncle or his dad.

Fisher: And then he sold it or was it the guy you actually saw, do you think?

Shawn: It was the guy that I actually saw.

Fisher: Ah!

Shawn: He was a relative.

Fisher: Wow!

Shawn: Because I pointed him out in one picture.

Fisher: No kidding!

Shawn: There was a family photo. And I pointed him out, and they said, "Yeah, that's the one that's, he's estranged from the family.

Fisher: Well, let's go forward, Shawn. You found this stuff in the dumpster and you're fuming mad, and now what did you do next? Because obviously you don't know who these people are.

Shawn: I took it to the administration over Batavia, Ohio, and they ran his name and they said they couldn't find it. And I asked them if they wanted it, they said no, they couldn't do that, because it would be a conflict of interest, because he's a veteran. So they gave me the number of the reporter, Cliff Radel of the Cincinnati Enquirer. He's the one that went and did all the legwork. He called me up and he wanted to know about the whole story, and he actually did the get together.

Fisher: So he got you back together with the family.

Shawn: Yeah.

Fisher: And now tell me about that experience. Did you keep it until you presented it to them or was it in somebody else's hands and you were just present? How'd that work?

Shawn: I gave it to Mr. Radel, so he could get the information off the dog tag and some other things. And he did that part and then he gave it back to me and then I presented it to them at the reunion.

Fisher: So it was a family reunion put together just for this, I assume?

Shawn: Yes.

Fisher: So what was that like? What were the feelings like? What was said?

Shawn: It was highly emotional. I usually don't, you know, get worked up, things like that, but just to see their faces, it was just outstanding. I mean, it was just truly emotional. I, you know, I can't really put it into words.

Fisher: I can see it kind of chokes you up right now thinking about it.

Shawn: Yeah, it does. I mean, because that meant so much to them, and just giving it back to them knowing that they had it. The son had one of his dog tags, and what's sad in this shadowbox was the other dog tag, and of course a picture of his mom and dad. And you know, just to, you know, know that they got that back was something that, its.

Fisher: It’s rewarding for you.

Shawn: Yes, it was. And they're really easygoing people. To treat somebody's medals like that, throw it in the dumpster, well, it’s just totally wrong. If you don't want it, take it to your nearest VFW hall or American Legion post and treat it with respect.

Fisher: Are you a veteran, Shawn?

Shawn: No. I've done mechanics and sales for most of my life.

Fisher: Umm hmm.

Shawn: But I'm regretting not signing up.

Fisher: Back in the day, because you have great admiration obviously for these veterans.

Shawn: Yes, I do. My dad's a veteran. My great uncles were veterans. My one great uncle, he served on a couple of battleships during World War II that somehow he survived, but both on them got sunk.

Fisher: Ugh!

Shawn: I don't want to say the one was Louisiana. My brother served in the air force during the last part of Vietnam conflict. Half the kids that are around here today, they don't know what these guys went through.

Fisher: Umm hmm.

Shawn: This guy was in the battle of the Bulge, and their casualty rate was about 80%.

Fisher: Ah! Are you guys in touch now? You must be part of their family as far as they're concerned.

Shawn: Yeah, I'm staying in touch with them.

Fisher: Shawn, you're a hero in absolutely your own way.

Shawn: I'm not a hero.

Fisher: Oh, you are! To take the effort to go and do that, I mean, there are many things that are found that affect a lot of families that people just toss aside or never make an effort to reach out and get those back into the hands they belong. And I'm so glad you did this.

Shawn: The way I look at it is, what may not mean nothing to you, means a lot to somebody else.

Fisher: That's right. And here you are a guy who's trying to make a living by finding a few things. You could've sold that, I would assume.

Shawn: I did have an offer on it. Somebody saw it in my truck when I was at the flea market, and he wanted it. And he offered me $20 for it, and I said, "No, I just brought it up here to show the other people what some idiot did." And they were kind of, because a couple of them that had set up with me are veterans. And, you know, they just told me I was doing the right thing, but they were kind of pissed off too.

Fisher: Right. Well, I'm sure the Reis family will love you forever for what you've done.  Shawn Harvey from Cincinnati, thank you so much for your time, and thanks for doing what you did, I think it inspires a lot of other people to do the right thing.

Shawn: Like I say is, shake the hand of a veteran, thank them for serving, just respect them.

Fisher: Thank you so much, Shawn.

Shawn: All right, thank you, Sir. Thanks for having me on.

Fisher: And coming up next, our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. He's got some great advice for you when it comes to scanning your photographs. What's the best dpi? And he's also got a great invention he just found out about. You're going to want to hear about it later on in the show. It’s all coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 4 Episode 56

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: You have found us, America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, he is our Preservation Authority. Tom, you're on the road. How are things?

Tom: Awesome! I just love being on the road, crossing the country, helping people preserve their memories, that's what it’s all about.

Fisher: Well, and you know, that's kind of the theme we're hearing today, like our guest, Shawn, a little bit ago who rescued those medals from a dumpster, and got it back them back to the family that they belong to.

Tom: Shawn is truly a hero! I mean, what he did was incredible. You know, we have people coming into our store all the time that talk about, "Oh, hey, I've got all photos. I have no idea who they are. I'm just going to throw them away. I don't have time for it." No, no, no, no! Give them to me, let me scan them, put them up on the web and let's find out who these people are. And then a tragedy a customer told us about is, he was living out west, and his mother and sister were living back east, and she passed away. And he was right in the middle of a deal and couldn't get back for several days. By the time he had gotten back, his sister had thrown away his mother's entire filing cabinet of family history documents.

Fisher: Ooh, no, no, no! Did she know what she was doing?

Tom: According to him, she kind of did. There's been kind of a little rift between them, and the daughter always felt like the mother was spending too much time on family history. And I think it was a little bit on vengeance, you know, which would make it even sadder.

Fisher: Argh! So he couldn't rescue the stuff, it was gone.

Tom: Nope. It was put into one of those giant dumpsters, the big dump truck picked it up, hauled it off, sent to the farm where all things go to die.

Fisher: Aagh!

Tom: Which was just totally unfortunate, I mean, years and years and years of research, family history totally gone, just because somebody wanted to be, an idiot I guess.

Fisher: Ooh! Sounds like vengeance to me. Well, let's talk about photographs a little bit here. It’s been a while since we've been on that topic. And I was just down in San Antonio at the Federation of Genealogical Societies convention, and I picked up a book that I was very excited about. It was about identifying old photographs based on the fashion styles of the times. And they showed them in five year periods, the collar sizes, single breasted, double breasted jackets, hair styles for the women, and so, fascinating stuff and it made me think about some of the things that you talk about in preserving old photos. And it’s very important that we do it in the right way, especially when it comes to digitizing them.

Tom: Oh absolutely! It’s very important to digitize them the right way. And like you mentioned, it’s great to have some kind of a date, because sometimes you find an old box of photos and you think, "Are these in the '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s? And a great book like you mentioned will help people kind of look at them and kind of discern, "Oh, you know, based on the size of this collar, based on how they have their hair, you know, he's this age of a kid." And we've talked about before, young babies usually always wore dresses, whether they were boys or girls, and you had to look at the part in their hair to tell whether they were a boy or a girl. So all those things will help you in dating your things and finding out, "Is that aunt Ethyl or is that uncle Fred as a baby?"

Fisher: [Laughs] That's a good point, yes. And by the way, the part on the side is how you know if it’s a boy, the part down the middle is how you know it’s a girl.

Tom: Yes, something that simple is so valuable when you're trying to figure out who these people are, when they came and stuff like that. So a book like that is invaluable to have. With that, internet research, it makes it awesome. But photos are so important to preserve. Don't go waiting up to do them. Do them as soon as you can, because the dyes do go away, they fade, especially if they're in warm areas, if there's sunlight on them. We've had people that have had these family portraits for, you know, thirty, forty years hanging up in their dining room, and unfortunately there's a window across from it and it starts turning usually red. And what it’s doing is killing off the blue dye that's in the photo, but if you grab it soon enough, you can bring it in to us and any photo restore across the country can really restore those pictures and make them look just like brand new. You don't want to wait too long till all the detail's gone.

Fisher: Well that makes a lot of sense. What about digitizing at home?

Tom: Oh absolutely! See, a lot of people think you always have to go to a professional to do it. You can buy descent scanning equipment. You just want to be really, really careful what you get. It depends on what size you're scanning. Like people always call me and say, "What dpi should I do that?" Well, it kind of depends what size your original is and what size you want to print. For instance, if you have something like a 2x3 and all you want to print is a 2x3, you can scan it 300 dpi and its fine, whereas if you have a 2x3 and want to put it as an 18x24, you want to go a little bit bigger. So it just kind of depends what you have, what you want to do with it. If you have postage size photos, like a lot of the old genealogy pages and family history pages as a whole, they were almost the size of a postage stamp, because that's just a format they used. So you want to make sure you scan those at a super, super high dpi in case somebody wants to make a 3x5 or a 5x7 of them. So you need to be really, really careful that you watch your dpi.

Fisher: Now is there a standard that people can just say, "You know, if I generally go at this dpi, we're going to be safe."

Tom: Oh yeah! Most people, if you want to do, you know, as high as like 4800 dpi, I mean, you can do anything. You can take a 2x3 picture and put it out as a 20x30, and a 4800 dpi will be fine.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: So just kind of be careful with your dpi and also with your megapixels, because those are the things that are really important. And like we've talked about before, don't do overkill. Like people say, "Oh, I want everything scanned in a TIFF. I've got these 5000 photos." Well, yeah you can do that, but as far as I'm concerned and I own the equipment, I don't do all my stuff in TIFFs. I do the majority of them in jpeg. And then we hear of the people of jpegs deteriorate. Well, yeah, if you make a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, that's going to happen. That's why we tell customers when they come into our store, we make them a disk that says "master" on it and then all the duplicates say "duplicate." So we tell them, "Hey, if you run out of dups and you need to make another dup, go back to your master and make you dupes from that and you'll never have a problem with jpegs deteriorating.

Fisher: All right, Tom, we're going to take a break, and when we return, let's talk more about photographs, all right?

Tom: Sounds good.

Fisher: All right, coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com in three minutes.

Segment 5 Episode 56

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we are back, final segment Extreme Genes Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com, America’s Family Radio Show. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. We have Tom Perry on the line. He’s on the road this week. He’s our preservation authority from TMCPlace.com. You’re just telling me off air Tom about some amazing discovery you’ve just found that everybody’s going to want to hear about. 

Tom: Oh this thing is just like so groundbreaking, it’s amazing. The company is called Estimote which is E-S-T-I-M-O-T-E, so you can just go Google it. And they have introduced wireless sensors that look like stickers that can be attached to household products allowing home owners to keep track of those objects with a Smartphone application.

Fisher: Oh, I love that!

Tom: Oh, I mean it’s so cool. I mean I would just absolutely love this to organize myself. How it work, is the Estimote Stickers contain what is called an ARM based processor with flash memory built right into the sticker, so Bluetooth Smart Control along with sensors will be able to find things. They also have one with temperature sensors so if your old movies are getting too hot in the car there or something, “Hey these things are getting hot, I’ll will send you a warning. You need to move them.

Fisher: [Laughs] 

Tom: And it’s amazing!

Fisher: It is!

Tom: My dad had like twenty photo albums. So I was like, “What photo album is what? Where are they? Are they in the kitchen? Are they in the attic? With this Smartphone with Bluetooth you’ll be able find where they are, you’ll be able to identify what they are, almost like a library. Now I’m not sure how far it works. This is like breaking news testing. I’m going to follow up on it and then next week I’ll bring you some more information about it. These are the Smart phone based. They’ve got the information on them, so it just depends how far your signal goes and how strong it is.

Fisher: All right. It’s Estimote, is the company. Is that what you’re saying?

Tom: Yes.

Fisher: OK.

Tom: E-S-T-I-M-O-T-E’

Fisher: We’re going to have to look into that more. That is amazing. All right, we were talking about photographs here in the previous segment. I don’t think you got through with everything you wanted to talk about with that. 

Tom: Oh no. The biggest thing we were kind of talking about was dpi, and we kind of went off on another tangent. Let me just give you a few examples of how you want to scan. We talked about 300 dpi. We talked about 1 400 dpi. 1400 dpi is your dump truck and 300 dpi is your Hugo. But if the Hugo gets you from A to B then that’s fine; go with it. So you want to look at what size your master is, your photo, and then what size you want it to be when you’re scanning. Like I say, I recommend jpegs. If you have a few to do, and you come to a place like us we’re happy to do it for you. You can rent scanners. Some of the guests that we’ve had on here before use easy photo scan. You can rent hire really super high you know $5000 scanners for a week for $500 for a family reunion which is a great way to go. So basically some normal things, like say you have a 2x3, if you want to go 5x7 you want to go at least 1200 dpi. If you’re going to go 11x14 you want to go about 2400 dpi. If you have little like 4x6, the 1200 dpi kicks in about 11x14. If you go to a 5x7 you want to go at 1200 dpi. Once you have a 16x20, if you have a master photograph which a lot of people have the old 8x10. If you just want to keep it in 8x10 300 dpi if fine. You don’t need to go any bigger.                                                                 

Fisher: Really? 

Tom: Oh yes, it’s fine. If you want to go 18x24 then you want to go to 1200 dpi. But my rule of thumb is I look at what a chart says, what they recommend and then I go one higher. That way I’m safe without bringing in a dump truck so to speak.

Fisher: Exactly. I know there are a lot of people who are listening either in their cars or at home and going, “Tom, you are going fast. I can’t keep track of this.” Do you have this available for them somewhere to look up those kinds of numbers?

Tom: They will find it on the Internet, but they can also contact me at [email protected] and say, “Hey, can you send me a copy of that dpi listing?” And I’m more than happy to forward it to anyone until I actually get it up on the website.

Fisher: All right that’s great. And of course, the website is TMCPlace.com All right, always great stuff Tom. Thanks so much for joining us and have a safe trip on the road. We look forward to having you back in the studio next week.

Tom: Sounds good. I’ll be there next week with whistles and bells.

Fisher: [Laughs] All right, and thanks once again to Janet Hovorka from FamilyChartMasters.com for her insight on the new research in the family history and how it’s affecting the intelligence of our kid, and as Shawn Harvey of Cincinnati rescued a whole bunch of ribbons and medals from a World War II Vet out of a dumpster. If you didn’t catch it of course, listen to the podcast. You can find that on iHeart Radio’s Talk Channel and on iTunes starting Monday of every week. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice normal family! 

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