Cleaning up some dirty babies

Sometimes a little surface cleaning makes a big difference. These twin boys were photographed in the 1880′s. Over more than a century, their little faces had become obscured with a heavy layer of soot and grime. In this photo, the baby on the right has been cleaned with damp cotton swabs, while the baby on the left is uncleaned.

Silver gelatin photograph; left side uncleaned, right side cleaned

Silver gelatin photograph; left side uncleaned, right side cleaned