No announcement yet.


  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • This is in response to something written earlier down on this thread, so it will be off-topic. My apologies.

    Originally posted by Paul Butler View Post
    My thoughts precisely.

    Baxendale's ignorance, or being deliberately misleading I'm not sure which, goes even further in his mentioning of the impressions left by presumably old photographs being of a size popular in the 1930s to the 1960s. Completely failing to mention that 3 1/2" by 2 1 /2" was the exact size of a Victorian carte de visite photograph popular since the 1860s, and what it seems very probable the old diary book was used for originally.
    I wasn't going to respond to this, and I may regret doing so, but here goes, since I think someone should defend Dr. Baxendale against the above baseless allegations.

    1. First off, despite what Paul Butler claims, the size of a Victorian carte-de-visite wasn't 3 1 /2 x 2 1/2 . It was 3 1/2 x 2 1/4 --a large enough difference to be noted by a forensic document examiner, which is what Dr. Baxendale was.

    2. Further, and even more relevantly, carte-de-visite photographs were invariably mounted on a card (hence the name) making their full size by 4 1/4 " x 2 1/2 ", which is not at all compatible with the oblong shapes found in the diary. (For my source, see the chart in the link below, which agrees with other sources).

    3. Thirdly, a carte-de-visite was a portrait, so the long edge was vertical; according to an old post by Caz Brown (I have never seen the diary) the long edge of the oblong impressions in the diary are horizontal.

    Unless Paul Butler is suggesting the original scrapbook owner, presumably Maybrick, trimmed the carte-de-visite portraits down to 3 1/2" by 2 1/2 ", leaving one margin intact, and then inexplicably mounted them on their side, his explanation cannot be correct. It fails in three respects.

    Baxendale, to my knowledge, said nothing about a date from the 1930s to 1960s---Butler seem to be quoting Robert Smith, but fails to give his source. From what I've read, Baxendale merely suggested that the 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 " size was popular in "the 20th Century," while The Sunday Times, wrote about a date between the two World Wars.

    The size of a "wallet photograph" (from the 20th Century) WAS 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 ". The same size as the oblong shapes in the diary. One can see a full chart of photograph sizes here:

    So perhaps Dr. Baxendale wasn't quite the dishonest ignoramus that is being suggested?

    Finally, has paranoia drifted into the minds of those who support the Maybrick Diary as an important and mysterious document? Why on earth would Dr. Baxendale have "deliberately" misled his clients?

    Baxendale was not part of the Sunday Times team that dismissed the diary as a fake.

    Neither was Baxendale part of Kenneth Rendell's team that also dismissed the diary as a fake.

    He was an independent consultant hired by Robert Smith and Shirley Harrison. He answered to no one else. What motive would he have had for lying to his own clients? He was actually an honest bloke who told his clients what they didn't want to hear...that the ink didn't behave like the genuinely old inks he had tested. He thought it had been applied to the paper much more recently, and didn't back down, despite the pushback.

    By the way, I have seen tintypes that are also 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 ", but a corner of what was presumably a photograph was found in the binding of the diary and it was made of paper. One of the diary's forensic consultants noted that it matched up with the corner of the rectangle impressions. There is no mention of it being metallic or sepia, and many early photographs (including the carte-de-visite) used paper that was heavily albumenized, so testing the corner would have almost certainly told us something useful. It may have even conclusively dated the diary.

    Yet, I have been recently reminded that, unfortunately--almost unbelievably---the corner was lost by one of the diary's forensic examiners (a name dear to the diary's champions). How the heck this could have happened is difficult to explain, as it was potentially one of the most important clues to the ledger's original purpose. Had Baxendale lost it, would he have been accused of doing so deliberately?

    --That's all from here.

    P.S. I experienced a very annoying software problem that changed many of the special characters when I posted, so I don't I'll try that again. Just realize that some of those question-marks are quotation marks, though I think I got rid of most of them. Ciao.


    • Testing the "old" glue in the diary might have been useful. If a comparison could be done between the glue used to affix the photos, which left some staining, and the glue beneath which is a dot of the ink used for the hoax, we might get somewhere.

      If the Barretts had anything to do with it, we'd expect the two glues to be very different - one made from horses and the other a Pritt stick.
      I wish I were two puppies then I could play together - Storm Petersen