Linda had found a well-worn gravemarker that was difficult to read. Ruth's suggestion was "Take a large piece of thin paper and a pencil or crayon and CAREFULLY make a rubbing of the writing. Or you can use aluminum foil. I used the foil trick to be able to read some very old and run-down stones at an ancestor’s grave site. Worked very well!"
I had tried the rubbing technique with crayon and pencil before without much success. But aluminum foil? Earlier this week I wrote about my visit to a local cemetery and there are several family stones there that are hard to read. I have never been able to get good pictures of their inscriptions. They face west, are usually in the shade, and they are quite worn. So, I thought I'd give the aluminum foil trick a try. Ruth is right, it works very well indeed. Thanks, Ruth!
I used heavy duty aluminum foil in the wide roll. I pulled off a piece of foil large enough to cover the front and sides of the stone. Instead of using tape or string or a bungee cord to keep the foil on the stone I poured a little bit of water on the face and both sides. The water provided just enough "adhesive" to keep the foil in place. I used a small, hand-held, semi-stiff bristle scrubbing brush to rub over the surface of the foil. And that brought out the details... Because of the reflectiveness of the foil, this might not work so well in bright sun. However, if you are careful when removing the foil from the stone you'll have the impression to work with later.
=+= Updated August 30, 2008=+=
The posts below show the results of using the foil technique to aid in reading hard to read markers.