It’s long and thin and historic. And it’s also badly cracking.
A panoramic view of Orange taken from the top of Dalton’s then newly-completed mill in Peisley Street in 1907 or 1908 is one of the city’s most important documents.
It is a captivating picture of life in the Colour City 110 years ago with vivid images of buildings, houses and the railway yards.
Reproductions of it can be seen at the Orange City Council offices, Kate Jones cafe in Moulder Street and at Kelly’s Hotel.
But the original is in such poor condition after being rolled up and stored in a box there was a need to do something about it.
Orange and District Historical Society members have taken it to Sydney to get an expert view on how to conserve it and have just completed using modern technology to create an enhanced copy of it.
They now plan to speak to staff at the Orange Regional Musuem about having the copy put on display.
Society president Liz Edwards said members had been concerned about it.
“Recently the owner Tony Neich allowed us to examine the original which had belonged to his mother Lorna, nee Moulder,” she said.
“Because it’s been rolled up it has lifted and cracked, it is in a terrible state,” she said.
“I took it to Tegan Anthes, assistant director of Preservation Australia in Annandale, who carried out a thorough examination of the photo.
“She believes that despite the delicate condition of the photo, it can be conserved.”
Members Robert Bruce and Phil Stevenson rephotographed the original in sections and digitally stitched them together in Photoshop to create an enhanced copy.
Mr Bruce, a professional photographer and photo restorer, said it had been his “ultimate challenge.”
Mystery still surrounds when the photo was taken and who actually took it.
Ms Edwards said it was either late 1907 when the mill was just about finished construction or early 1908.
“We believe there is a strong case for William Bursle, who was prolific at that time,” she said.