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  NASA glossy photo prints: Red ID numbers

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Author Topic:   NASA glossy photo prints: Red ID numbers
martin00sr
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Posts: 60
From: Denmark
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 04-23-2007 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for martin00sr   Click Here to Email martin00sr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I sometimes see NASA photos advertised as having red ID-numbers. Is that something special compared to (e.g.) black numbers?

spaced out
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Posts: 2972
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-23-2007 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Generally-speaking NASA color photos were printed with red IDs on the front and black-and-white photos with black IDs. It's not always true however, and sometimes vintage photos were printed without any IDs.

mjanovec
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Posts: 3791
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 04-23-2007 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, some color pics from Mercury and Gemini era had blue IDs too. Not sure why, but they exist.

Gad Space
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Posts: 7
From: Paris, France
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 07-11-2009 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gad Space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can someone help me understanding the red serial number on NASA photos? Is there a link where I could know more about it?

mjanovec
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Posts: 3791
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 07-12-2009 12:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's nothing too complicated to understand. It's just a unique serial number applied to identify that specific photographic image. The photos that originated from the Manned Spacecraft Center (later known as the Johnson Space Center) typically started with an "S" followed by two digits that represent the year, and a few more digits that represent the number in the sequence that photo was filed under. Photos generated during the Apollo missions (especially photos taken by the crew during the missions) often started with "AS" (for Apollo Saturn), the mission number, and then the photo number.

Certain collectors like the serial numbered photos, as they are obviously photos that originated from NASA. The photos printed on thick "A Kodak Paper" are the most highly sought after, as this paper was used almost exclusively for color images prior to 1973.

There is no comprehensive catalog (so far) that lists all of the numbers, though Ed Hengeveld and JL Pickering have been attempting to compile a list. Plus they have collected many of the mission-related images onto their excellent series on disc found here (which are highly recommended).

One last point, the topic header for this discussion is a bit misleading. Only photographic prints (on photographic paper) were printed with the red serial numbers. Lithographs, which were mass produced on card stock using the four color printing process, were not printed with red serial numbers. Red serial photos were printed in limited numbers for internal NASA use and for media use. Lithographs were mass produced for distribution to the general public.

Gad Space
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Posts: 7
From: Paris, France
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 07-12-2009 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gad Space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you very much for those explanations.

JasonIUP
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Posts: 282
From: PA
Registered: Apr 2004

posted 09-20-2014 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonIUP   Click Here to Email JasonIUP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I feel dumb asking, but I will anyway. What's the significance of red number photos? Why are they coveted?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

SpaceyInMN
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Posts: 292
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Dec 2013

posted 09-20-2014 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceyInMN   Click Here to Email SpaceyInMN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for asking, Jason. I've often wondered the same thing myself and never bothered to ask.

Cozmosis22
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Posts: 783
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 09-21-2014 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JasonIUP:
What's the significance of red number photos?
They were printed at the time of the event depicted in limited quantity for agency use and distributed to credentialed media only.

milkit1
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Posts: 237
From: Springfield Illinois USA
Registered: Sep 2015

posted 11-19-2017 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for milkit1   Click Here to Email milkit1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since the original NASA photos from the 60s have red numbers, has anyone ever logged these and make a complete checklist?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

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