Eaton, E.W. (1976): A Tribute to my Dad

Eaton, E.W. - cover pageWhen I tell people my Dad worked at the Ontario Vet College (OVC) at the University of Guelph, most people assume he was a professor. He wasn’t.

When I was born both my parents had a grade ten education. I was a first-generation university student. When I went to university, I had one cousin who’d gone to university, but otherwise, no one else in my family, on either side, had ever attended a post-secondary institution.

My Dad worked at OVC as a veterinary technician. His job was quite literally, pretty shitty, since it included handling animal feces, among other unpleasant tasks. But it was an honest and steady job. It paid the bills and put food on the table. Unlike me, he never had the opportunity to attend the post-secondary where he worked.

His creative outlet was photography. He spent hours and hours learning technical and creative aspects of his hobby and learned a great deal over time. On occasion, he had the chance to share his photographic expertise at work.

You can imagine the surprise I felt earlier this year when we were having a conversation that went something like this:

Dad: Did I ever tell you I published a paper?

Me: A paper? You mean, like, in a journal?

Dad: Yeah, I had a sole-authored technical paper in a journal.

Me: Wait. What? A sole-authored paper?! How did I not know about this? When did you publish paper?

Dad: I dunno. I haven’t thought about it for years, I guess. It was sometime in 70s.

Me: Do you still have a copy?

Dad: Probably, yeah. Somewhere.

Me: Can you look and see? And if you do, could you send me a copy?

Dad: Well, yeah, sure, OK. If you want.

Lo and behold, about a week later, an envelope arrived in the mail. Inside I found an original hard copy off-print of my Dad’s article. The edges of the paper had yellowed over time.

But there it was:

High accutance with improved contrast in black-and-white photomicrography at low magnifications. Journal of the Biological Photographic Association, Volume 44, Issue 3, Pages 94-97

My first thought was: Oh crap! This is the original. I mean — The Original! I immediately felt dumb. My Dad published one sole-authored paper in his entire life and I had the original paper copy in my hands. We have an amazing digital library at the University of Calgary. Why it hadn’t occurred to me to go find a digital copy was beyond me. I thought, well, I can just do that now and I’ll send this original back to him.

Well, I scoured every inch of our digital archives. I searched everywhere I could find on the Internet, but the Journal of the Biological Photographic Association no longer exists. And its archives have not been digitized, it appears.

I am a big fan of sharing materials online, and as a researcher focused on academic ethics, I also know the importance of leading by example. So, I set out to see if I could get permission from the copyright holder to share his article with you. I owe a debt of gratitude to Rowena Wake, Copyright Officer, University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources, who tracked down the copyright holder information and shared it with me so I could request permission to reprint the article in full on this blog. Here is their response:

Official letter permission from copyright holder

Received via e-mail on May 30, 2020:

Dr. Eaton,
The Journal of Biocommunication, as well as the BioCommunications Association, gladly grant you permission to post your father’s original 1976 JBPA article on your blog. I can think of no better way to honor your father’s photographic accomplishments (and his publishing efforts). 
Please consider this correspondence, dated May 30, 2020, as a record of our permission to reuse your father’s article on your blog. 
Our best wishes. Tell your Father “Happy Father’s Day” for us. 
Gary Schnitz
JBC Management Board Chair
Adam Cooper, President
BioCommunications Association
Danielle Edwards, Director of Communications,
BioCommunications Association
Permission granted to republish: 

Eaton, E. W. (1976). High accutance with improved contrast in black-and-white photomicrography at low magnifications. Journal of the Biological Photographic Association, 44(3), 94-97.


So, there you go, Dad. Happy Father’s Day from the Journal of Biocommunication, the BioCommunications Association and from me.

Here is a reference to your article, including a link to the complete downloadable .pdf file, so now everyone in the whole world can read your work:

Eaton, E. W. (1976). High accutance with improved contrast in black-and-white photomicrography at low magnifications.. Journal of the Biological Photographic Association, 44(3), 94-97.

I love you, Dad, and I am proud of you. Thank you for doing what you did so I can do what I do.


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Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.

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