enter image description here

in this pic it says post and telegraph office , but if you look above , and to the left and right of it and below , it looks like there was something there , but has been brushed over / changed in the other pic you can see what originally was there.

would the post and telegraph sign been photoshopped on ? enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please provide some context. how are the photos used, is there a point to showing them together in the same publication? What makes you think someone did a photoshop job on photo that was taken more than 100 years before photoshop was invented? and why would they? I see nothing other than the natural changes that would be associated with the passage of time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 17:08

3 Answers 3


It's not at all unusual for signage to change (perhaps the building wasn't a post-office when the 2nd pic was taken). It looks like the pictures were taken several years apart (tree in 1st image...)


Has the signage above this shop been changed?

Obviously, assuming it is the same shop.

Photoshopped, etc?

Not likely.

  • Photoshop did not exist when these photos were taken. It probably did not exist for about a century after these photos were taken.
  • A considerable amount of time has passed between the two photos. The tree in front of the shop in the second photo is nowhere to be seen in the first.
  • The most likely explanation is that the actual sign was painted over between the times of the two photos for whatever reason.
  • Since the building faces in a direction that gets direct sunlight when the sun is at fairly high angles in the sky, it probably needed to be repainted frequently to prevent the wood from being damaged by the exposure to the sun and its UV rays. Paints used during times when horses and buggies were the primary mode of transportation didn't tend to be as durable as the oil-based paints we use today.

When one is young one assumes that things have always been the same as they are in the present. As one ages one becomes increasingly conscious that things are constantly changing. Eventually one realizes that just as things have been constantly changing since the time of their first awareness, they were also constantly changing before that time!

One thing that has changed in the modern world is that we are less likely to reuse things. If the purpose for which a building was created is no longer needed, rather than repurposing the existing building we demolish it and build a different building if we need to use that space for a different purpose. This is particularly true if building materials are not scarce. This has not always been the case, and still is not the case in parts of the world where scarcity is still a very real consideration.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not just the tree. They also boarded up a door and replaced it with a small window, and added awnings. Either that or they cut down and dug up the tree, removed the awnings, and replaced a window with a door; the first photo kind of looks older to me (or at least it is much less in-focus). \$\endgroup\$
    – dgatwood
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 23:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just on your first bullet point... In the 'Britain At War Experience' in London, Winston Churchill's trademark cigar was digitally removed from his photo. The point being - to estimate if a digital image has been photoshopped or not, whether the original was captured before or after the introduction of Photoshop is not relevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ [Sigh] Something can be relevant without being absolutely determinative. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dgatwood Does that mean the last blurry photos you took predate all of Ansel Adams' masterpieces? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 0:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Obviously blurriness doesn't necessarily indicate age, but the lack of detail and decreased apparent dynamic range could be an indication of an older photographic process (and admittedly, even if that suspicion is correct, it doesn't necessarily indicate that the photos were taken with the older process first). :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – dgatwood
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 4:27

would the post and telegraph sign been photoshopped on ?

I doubt it. If the photo had been photoshopped, one wouldn't expect the remnants of the original text to be eliminated; it'd be easier to completely cover the text with the sign's background color than to leave traces of the old text.

Instead, it looks like the sign was just painted over. The first two lines of the sign in the smaller photo appear to read: "W.H. HARVEY / GENERAL STORE&DEPOT". It'd make sense that a general store, which would be centrally located in town, might be re-used as a telegraph office.


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