Canadians are in the midst of a tedious federal election campaign with no truly interesting leaders nor stimulating platforms. I for one am missing Richard “The Troll” Schaller, of North Vancouver, the former western caucus chairman of the Rhinoceros Party (their ‘prime directive’: to not fulfill any of their promises), who died of cancer in 2006.
This CBC News clip from the 1988 federal election illustrates The Troll’s lighthearted and comic attitude.
Wouldn’t it make a welcome change if Harper, Trudeau, et. al. could (a) publicly laugh at themselves (without being scripted to do so) and (b) refrain from promptly polling the nation to check whether ‘we’ liked it?
The Rhinos are running candidates in 2015, but sadly not many in the West. Indeed, Parti Rhino seems to be strongest in Quebec – home to the current leader and several of its candidates. Between 1965 and 1988, the Rhinos captured between <1% to 2.4% of the popular vote.
For some of the RP’s ‘platform’, see here. My favourite is #11 (“Ban guns and butter – both kill”); #12 (“Reform Loto-Canada, replacing cash prizes with Senate appointments”) is a little too close to what has become reality in recent years.
This is a somewhat unusual view of the Cambie Street Recreation Grounds (for some later years, the site of the long-distance bus station, later still – optimistically – dubbed Larwill Park and serving as a City car park with aspirations to become the site of the Vancouver Art Gallery). The image appears to be taken from the SW corner of the block toward the NW corner. The crowd of mainly men was viewing a soccer game. And, remarkably, virtually every head in then crowd is covered. The soccer players were evidently permitted to play bare-headed without social impunity; however, notably, the men in striped jerseys – game officials, I presume – seem to have been be-hatted.
The second site of the YMCA is visible in the distance (near mid-photo, at corner of Dunsmuir and Cambie), as is part of the Sun Tower (right) and Vancouver High School (the school’s prominent tower appears to the left of the photo behind residences).
I won’t pretend to understand fully why hats were such a dominant and lasting feature of men’s and women’s fashion in the 19th and 20th centuries. For extended commentary on men’s hats in earlier years, see here and here, among other sources.
I cannot resist showing another CVA image of an Australian cricket team visiting Vancouver in 1911 (and including the photographer of this image and of the one above, Stuart Thomson, a former Aussie who emigrated to Canada the year before this image was made and who would make his home and career in Vancouver until his death in 1960). Interestingly, a couple of the gents in the photo seem not to have received ‘the memo’ and appeared hatless (gasp!).
If you look closely at the blackboard of this image of the Model School (at Cambie and 12th; still standing, although the interior has been altered to make it City Square shopping mall), you can see part of the lesson for the day – a rural tale for these then-semi-rural Vancouver youngsters: that of ‘The Dog in the Manger’. According to the author of this site, this isn’t truly one of the tales of Aesop (of which there are no original written documents); it was added to an early post-printing-press edition produced by German printer Heinrich Steinhowel. The fable has been used (along with others with more verifiable Aesop pedigree) for centuries as a morals booster to improve societal quality (not a morale booster – which is principally concerned with making individualsfeel better about themselves – a quite different thing).
Most of the school supplies in this office building are recognizable to me. The 1930s version of the Remington typewriter, of course (with that almost unheard of technology, carbon paper inserted), variations on early document copiers (which I’m tempted to refer to generally – and, doubtless, inaccurately – as ‘Gestetner machines‘), wooden teacher desks that were ubiquitous in classrooms even when I was a student in primary and secondary schools decades later, globes, and educational posters.
One item which I was unable to immediately name, however, was the machine on which the woman near the centre of the image was working (and whom the balding fellow appears to be admiring). My wife identified this as a sort of early tracing machine which may have been used by art instructors and others for preparing classroom materials.
This office was in the still-standing 3-storey structure (1929?) shown below (far left). Stuart Thomson successfully captured not only the interior of the 1936 tableau, but also part of Clarke and Stuart’s exterior signage (which, if the dating is accurate, was due soon to be replaced with the sign shown in the W. J. Moore photo made one year later) and two of its still-existing across-the-street-building neighbours: — the apparently Georgian-inspired 543 Seymour (which would be CKWX radio’s downtown HQ for years, beginning in the 1940s, I believe; later home to the Canadian Armed Forces; in recent years, home for a series of private colleges and language schools) and the Seymour Building, at 525 Seymour (1920), known in its early years as the Yorkshire block.
James Duff Stuart (note: CVA shows his surname as “Stewart”; a misspelling) and Harold Clarke were the owners of the school supply purveyor shown above. For more about them and their apparently successful Vancouver business interests in several locations, see here and here.
There are differences that leap to my attention when I consider these two images together. A principal one is how much more clothing we Vancouverites wore 80 years ago as against today (although it must be admitted that the seasons shown are probably not identical). And how de rigeur was the practice of wearing something on one’s head – nearlyall of the people in the 1935 image!
While I find the people in both images to be endlessly interesting, the architecture in the 2015 version I find less so.
I could find out nothing about the above bridge either online or in the local library. The photograph of the bridge (1 of 2 by Don Coltman; the other image is here) shows the structure spanning Georgia Street at one-way, south-bound Howe Street in October 1944. There is no photographic (nor textual) evidence that I’ve been able to find to indicate that there was a bridge at this location except for this image.
Zooming on the image reveals a sign on the structure identifying it as “Bailey Bridge Class #2(? or 7?) Dual Carriageway”. Initially, I assumed that “Bailey” was after a local British Columbian (e.g., Vancouver professional photography pioneer, Charles Bailey). But I’ve since concluded that while Bailey is indeed a surname, it wasn’t for a B.C. resident (rather, for British engineer, Sir Donald Bailey); furthermore, the name of the bridge isn’t a unique identifier, but instead a type of bridge (created by Bailey) which was commonly used during and after WWII in Europe and elsewhere. In short, the Bailey Bridge was a modular means of spanning a water or land gap with a structure that could carry vehicles as large and heavy as tanks. For detailed info on Bailey Bridges, please consult this page.
The Georgia Street crossing was evidently meant to carry both pedestrians and automobile traffic (there is one vehicle visible). However, there seem to be a number of pedestrians who ignored the existence of the bridge and preferred to take their chances crossing Georgia at street level. The lack of buy-in from many pedestrians plus the limited clearance on Georgia (10’6″) imposed by the bridge may have contributed to the bridge’s brief lifespan (especially in post-war Vancouver with increasing industrial traffic travelling on Georgia to and from the North Shore).
But, for now at least, the questions of motive (why it was built and why it stood so briefly) remain unanswered. My wife has suggested that perhaps it was a demonstration bridge. That’s a plausible explanation, but why build it here, over a moderately-busy intersection in a part of the world where there are no lack of water crossings?
If readers of VAIW have any clues/tips (or are aware of other images of this bridge), I’d appreciate hearing from you.
This amusing photo may be one of the final images made (and certainly one of the last professional photos made) at Jubilee Methodist Church in Burnaby before it became Jubilee United Church later in 1925. Jubilee Church was located on Kingsway near Imperial Street. In 1936, Jubilee and the former Henderson Presbyterian Church – which, by then, had become Henderson United Church (at nearby Kingsway and Joyce) – amalgamated to become Henderson-Jubilee United Church; they constructed a new building in 1947 (Twizell & Twizell, of St Andrews-Wesley United Church fame) and became known from then as West Burnaby United Church (which still stands as such).
This wedding party photo is important, in my opinion, for a couple of reasons. It is one of the first records of an outdoor wedding in the Lower Mainland, to the best of my knowledge. And it is the last photograph made in Greater Vancouver, of which I’m aware, of First Baptist Church’s former minister, Rev. Dr. Roland Dwight Grant.
The wedding allegedly took place “beneath a spreading maple tree” in what was then known as Skunk Cove (today, Caulfield, West Vancouver; not far from where Lighthouse Park is today).
The bride (#1) was Annie Evalyn Hopcraft, nee Grant, (although she is sometimes referred to as Nancy); the groom (#4) was Lt. William Dixon Hopcraft (sometimes the surname is spelled Hopcroft, for some reason). W. D. Hopcraft was an officer with the Canadian Pacific Empress transpacific liners. He would go on to command the Empress of Japan.
Rev. Dr. Grant, 1852-1912, (#2) was a Baptist minister who came, originally, from Connecticut and had held pastorates in Boston, New York, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Grant accepted the call of First Baptist Church, Vancouver, in 1900 and resigned from a (temporarily) split church by 1904. Grant seems to have been largely responsible for the split; the short story is that his supporters were the ones who walked out of FBC (including E.B. Morgan who appears in the un-cropped version of the wedding photo below). By early 1906, happily, the divided church was reunited.
Presumably, “Alderman Grant” in the un-cropped version of the photo was a relation of the Roland Grants (he wasn’t Roland’s brother, however; his brother’s name was Alonzo Timothy Grant). It seems likely that he was early Vancouver Alderman Robert Grant, but he is probablynot the female person identified in the photo (#11 and #12 seem to have been mistakenly switched and probably should show #11 as Alderman Grant and #12 as Mrs Robert Grant). #3 appears to be correctly – although oddly – identified as Mrs Hopcraft’s mother; she was that, but it would have made more sense (to me, at least) to refer to her either as “Mrs Roland Grant” or (even better) as “Mrs Helen Grant”. The “Miss Grant” identified as #14 (the lass whose hand Rev Grant is holding) is most probably his younger daughter, Berona.
I should note upon conclusion that this probably wasn’t a church crowd; or at least, it wasn’t a predominantly Baptist crowd. Hopcraft is believed to have been of the Anglican persuasion. Although Roland, Helen, and Annie, as well as E. B. Morgan appear on the membership rolls at FBC, it seems unlikely that this wedding party was dominated by Baptists. Indeed Caulfield’s St. Francis in the Wood church website identifies this wedding (which pre-dates the St. Francis church building being erected in 1927) as having been an Anglican one (although the St Francis site shows the bride, Mrs. Annie Hopcraft, as Mrs. ‘Nancy’ Hopcraft, so I’m not certain of the site’s historical reliability). It isn’t known if Roland participated in officiating in the wedding; but given the size of Rev. Grant’s ego, I would be very surprised if he didn’t play some role!
The scene above captures well the enthusiasm of PNE Parade spectators at East Hastings and Princess Street in the mid-1950s. There would be parades to kick off the Pacific National Exhibition each year for another 40 years (ending in 1995). The only exception since ’95 has been a parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the PNE in 2010; but that parade was held on Beach Avenue near Stanley Park rather than along the traditional Hastings Street strip.
The Carl Rooms block (which apparently went up in the early years of the Great War, likely 1915) at 575 East Hastings still stands, as does the 4-storey Spokane Rooms two doors east (left) of there, which seems to have been on the block since about 1913. There is still a grocery where B&B Grocery once was; and today, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House is where The WashHouse Launderette was in the image. At least a few of the single storey structures east of Spokane Rooms appear to remain: what was in 1956 home to such ‘Mom & Pop’ shops as Sak’s Tailors, a butcher (no baker or candlestick maker, as far as I can tell), an accordion manufacturer/college/musical instrument repair shop, and (of course) a barber shop and lunch counter (Princess Lunch). The dwelling between Carl Rooms and Spokane Rooms has been demolished to make way for the Tung Koon Benevolent Association block.
My friend, Wes, has knowledge on a wide range of topics – from cars to aircraft to, evidently, welding processes. I asked him today if he had any idea what the manufacturing steps were that were illustrated in these Vancouver wartime images. Today’s post is largely thanks to his smarts.
What is being created in these images is chain for use as anchor cables on war period merchant ships. James Pritchard in A Bridge of Ships: Canadian Shipbuilding During the Second World War (2011) points out that a Canadian crown plant called Wartime Merchant Shipping, Ltd. was set up on Granville Island. The crown corp purchased a chain creation process called “Electro-Weld” from Pacific Chain and Manufacturing Company (Portland, OR) to supply 144 sets of anchor-chain cable. The process at Granville Island was the same as that employed at the American company’s Seattle plant:
Steel bar stock was cut, heated, and formed into chain. Photo A shows the steel being formed into chain.
The support was welded into each link (whether by hand or machine isn’t clear; perhaps it was begun by one process and finished by the other). See Photo B.
The completed length of chain was stretched out for inspection and testing (and some welding was done at this point, presumably to fix missed areas). See Photo C.
Completed chain was heat-treated for strength in an oven (steps 3 and 4 may have been reversed). See Photo D.
According to Pritchard, the Granville Island plant “was soon turning out 15 fathoms (27.4m) per shift, or fifteen sets of chain per month. The venture was so successful that Canadian-type 10,000-tonners were supplied with a full prewar quantity of 270 fathoms (494m) of anchor cable, which was also exported to the United States.” (p. 233)
If you are interested, this video shows a present-day, more automated chain-production process.
This perspective affords us photographic time travellers an atypical angle on the second (and best, in my opinion) of the Hotels Vancouver (Swales, 1916), of its northern neighbour, the York Hotel (Honeyman & Curtis, 1911) – which was demolished in 1968 for Pacific Centre mall – and bits and pieces of several other structures (e.g., the second Vancouver Courthouse (Rattenbury, 1912), which became the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1983 appearing in the bottom right corner of the image). This incarnation of the HV was demolished in 1949 after serving as home for difficult-to-house veterans during and after WWII.
Where was this image made? It was pretty plainly made from the north side of Georgia, likely closer to Hornby Street than to Howe St, most probably from the Medical-Dental Building (McCarter & Nairne) – opened in 1929, the same year as this photo was made, and demolished in 1989. The Devonshire Hotel (also McCarter & Nairne, 1925) – demolished in 1981 (the HSBC bank replaced it on the site) – is really the only other contender for the honour, but it was a relatively shorter structure than the Georgia Hotel (next door and east of the Devonshire) – of which we can spot the near upper corner in the lower left image of the image, meaning that the camera was angled downward relative to the Georgia, and that would have been impossible from the rooftop of the Devonshire. It had to be taken from the relatively taller Georgia Medical-Dental building. For a helpful visual illustration of the differing heights of these buildings, see this image.
The photo also allows us helpful perspective of the rooftop garden of the former Hotel Vancouver. For a couple of nearer views, see here and here.