Tag Archives: vancouver

Sheila Buchanan’s Little Known Career

Sheila Buchanan (1917-2009) was known to the congregation at First Baptist Church as an 18-year veteran missionary to Bolivia; as the Church librarian for a number of years; and as a regular volunteer in the church office. But what wasn’t … Continue reading

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J. W. Freeston and a California Shoe Company Outing?

Update: First Posted April 2014 The panorama image shown above was made by B.C. professional photographer, John W. Freeston, sometime in the 1920s or perhaps earlier. I’m not certain where it was made, but there is some evidence to conclude … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Fourth/Final)

This is the conclusion of my multi-part post about my purchase of The Book of Roberts, which came with a much-signed pamphlet advertising a lecture by a member of the Roberts family. The author of the book was William Harris … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Third)

In this post and the next, I’ll reveal some of the characters associated with The Book of Roberts and, especially, those whose signatures appear on the little pamphlet that was tucked into my copy. Alfred M. Pound: An Important Character … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram (Part the Second)

In Which I Read the Book of Roberts It has been a couple of days since I updated this blog on the volume picked up at The Paper Hound bookshop, recently. It seemed fitting that I ought to attempt to … Continue reading

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Oddball in Buckram

This post will be a little different. My standard procedure with VAIW has been to become enchanted with a photo of earlier Vancouver, see if there is anything new to say about the image and/or the image-maker, do as much … Continue reading

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Magnifying BC Hotelmen

I bought the snapshot shown above at a flea market a few months ago. It isn’t a great photo; it was taken at a rakish angle that is suggestive that the photographer had been sampling a bit too liberally from … Continue reading

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‘Zip Line’ to Wreck Beach for Construction of Early UBC Buildings?

When I first saw this image, my initial thought was “Gee, did they build a ‘zip line’ at the Point Grey campus as early as 1923?”. Then common sense kicked in. There was precious little development at Point Grey, then. … Continue reading

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Sir John and The Russian Prince

Sir John Martin Harvey had a reputation as a Shakespearean actor on the stage and (later) as a silent film star in the U.K. and in the wider world, not least in Canada. The Russian Prince pictured above with Sir … Continue reading

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Ernst’s Cello (NOT Piano) Fingers

Any piano student who has ‘short finger syndrome’ can spot a fellow-sufferer in an instant. So one look at the photo above was all it took for me to realize that this chap with stubby fingers could not have earned … Continue reading

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Southern View (Pender at Seymour), 1892

This view of Vancouver as it appeared to early Vancouver photographer, Charles S. Bailey just six years after incorporation as a city has appealed to me since I first clapped eyes on it a couple of years ago. Vancouver may … Continue reading

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Frank L. Beebe’s Vancouver Aliens

The charming illustrations shown here prompted me to ‘splurge’ on Alien Animals in British Columbia which was sitting on the $2 cart outside The Paper Hound Bookshop last week. This volume is an introduction to the non-native animals (“aliens”) that have been introduced … Continue reading

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The New Democracy of William Herridge

William Duncan Herridge (1886-1961) neither lived in Vancouver nor worked here. In fact, he admits in the speech he delivered here on May 3, 1939 that it had “not been my good fortune often to visit British Columbia.”¹ But, for … Continue reading

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Gal: “You are SUCH a ninny!” Guy: “What?”

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The Yoshio Hinatsu Mystery

I purchased the little pamphlet history shown above at a recent paper ephemera fair. I was taken with the art deco illustrations on the cover and on interior pages and wondered who was Yoshio Hinatsu, the illustrator, and what became of … Continue reading

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Up Granville from Hastings, 1909

This is another outstanding scene by early Vancouver photographer, P. T. Timms. Timms would have been standing with his back to the second C.P.R. station (1898-1914; Edward Maxwell, architect) at Granville and Cordova. His camera was pointing up Granville from the … Continue reading

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The Happy Wanderers: Findlater’s Elgar Choir

Charles E. Findlater (1893-1975) founded and led the Elgar Junior Choir from 1924 until shortly before his death.¹ Until Findlater received permission from English composer Sir Edward Elgar’s daughter in 1932 (there is some disagreement as to the year; in some places, … Continue reading

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W Marks the Spot

This was originally posted July 2015. Updated on April 28, 2017.

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Orange Meat?!

I came upon this advertisement when looking for something else in a 1904 edition of the Vancouver Daily World. The very peculiar product name compelled me to drop what I was looking for and read the rest of the ad. The ad … Continue reading

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Church Membership Transfers

Membership transfers (or “letters of dismissal/admission”) were an important aspect of early 20th century protestant churches. This post will explore some of the features of membership transfers, using First Baptist Church, Vancouver as a case study. I will present scans of actual membership … Continue reading

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Behind This Wall at Hotel Vancouver…

Update: March 24, 2017 This post has been revised since it was first published about 10 days ago. The most significant change has been to its scope. It was originally a very lengthy discussion that wandered into topics well beyond Beatrice … Continue reading

Posted in art, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, hotels/motels/inns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Another Hotel Vancouver ‘Lost’ Artwork

Update: March 24, 2017 This post was originally part of the one about Beatrice Lennie’s lost art at the Hotel Vancouver. I have created this new post for two reasons: (1) the Lennie post was too lengthy and the principal connection with … Continue reading

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Bolivia Bound: The Story of Howard & Mary Plummer

Howard’s Early Years Arthur Howard Plummer (1900-1970) had his first taste of a mission career when he was 8 years old. In 1908, he accompanied his parents from their home in England to Wenchow, China, where his father, Dr. William … Continue reading

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A Peculiar Notion: Foot Bridge Across First Narrows, 1909

The plan above appears to have been one of the first proposals for a crossing of the Burrard Inlet at First Narrows (preceding the very different Lion’s Gate Bridge by about 30 years). It was the brain child of William Thomas … Continue reading

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Nina Raginsky’s ‘LIP Grant’ Images

I have recently been introduced to British Columbia photographer, Nina Raginsky. How I have managed to live this long without being aware of her amazing photographic skill and talent, I don’t know! Raginsky makes her home on Salt Spring Island … Continue reading

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Corrected Image by Horizontal Flip

It can be disorienting when a historical image’s negative is printed from the wrong side. By viewing the image to the right, you can see the way the image appears on CVA as of mid-February, 2017. (That the image was … Continue reading

Posted in businesses, cafes/restaurants/eateries, churches, Ernie Reksten, hotels/motels/inns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Norris Sculpture a Viaduct Memory

George Norris (1928-2013) was a Vancouver artist whose sculptures adorn many city spaces. Doubtless the best known is his award-winning Crab at the entry to the Museum of Vancouver. Another one is Mother and Child at UBC near the Irving K. … Continue reading

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First Baptist Church in Disguise?

Update: February 10, 2017 This postcard of mis-identification was presented to me about a year ago as a gift by JMV of Illustrated Vancouver. The image appears to have been made between 1911 (when construction of FBC at Nelson & Burrard was completed) … Continue reading

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Cafes and Bookshops – Two of My Favourite Things

Paper Hound (344 W Pender) books is located on the site of what was for several decades a cafe in Vancouver’s ‘book row’. Most recently (ca 1989-2002), it was White Rose Cafe (evocatively shown in the drawing above by Keith McKellar). Before that, it was … Continue reading

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UBC’s Main Library (aka Barber Learning Centre) as it Was

If this view of the UBC Main Library (today known as the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) seems strange, it shouldn’t be surprising. It has been awhile since the library building and environs have appeared this way. The main entrance of … Continue reading

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The Drifting Mizonys

The original photo from which the above crop was made is the one featured at this recent post. I was zooming into the original shot, during the time that I was writing that post, when I noticed the sign atop … Continue reading

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The Hastings MEATS Puzzle

The first time I laid eyes on this photo, I saw the prominently displayed “MEATS” sign and immediately assumed I was looking at an early version of the Save On Meats sign – where it is today on the north side … Continue reading

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Rev. Arthur J. Hadley: “Let’s Go!”

My very good friend, Art Hadley, died on Christmas Day, 2016. He had a special connection with Vancouver, although he and his wife, Edna, spent relatively little time in the Greater Vancouver area, recently. In their retirement, they settled in Mississauga … Continue reading

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The Vancouver Vagabonds

The Vancouver Vagabonds was a men’s club. It didn’t last long (1914-1928), but it was fondly remembered by former members long after it had ceased to exist.(1) The Vagabonds are generally believed to have been the creation of J. Francis Bursill (1848-1928). Bursill, … Continue reading

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Freeze, Varmint! (Or ‘Vacant Lot as Window to the Past’)

This very early Vancouver image by pioneer photographic professional, Charles Bailey, makes me chuckle. Not only is it a clear and sharp photograph of a time in Vancouver which would be nearly inconceivable today, without such images, but it shows … Continue reading

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Polar Pan?

Here are Royal Lifesaving Society members, Peter Pantages and Miss E. Robinson. (Sadly, we don’t know Miss Robinson’s first name; she looks like she was quite a character. Although Peter and Miss Robinson appear in the photo to be friendly, … Continue reading

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Pet/Person Fountain . . . Gone.

On October 1, 1986 – in Vancouver’s centennial year – this fountain was established on the north side of Robson street, a half-block east of Burrard (in front of the retail space that at that time housed the main store of … Continue reading

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Fate’s Temptress

Mary Warburton (ca1871-1931) was a Vancouver nurse with a penchant for walking where she needed to go, regardless of distance or season. Two of her trips were reported in the news – one from Hope to Princeton in 1926; the … Continue reading

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Unsung Local Artist: Hans Lankau

Updated: November 22, 2016 The image from 1972 was added. Hans Gottfried Edita Lankau (1897-1971) was born and raised in Germany. He immigrated to post-war Canada in 1951 when he was in his mid-50s, settling in West Vancouver. His principal work in … Continue reading

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Lads and Strays BENEATH the Platform, Please!

The photo above was made in 1943 on the occasion of (among other things, perhaps) the crowning of the Air Raid Precautions (A.R.P.), District 16 “Queen” Viola Balzer from among other contenders for the crown (some of whom, I assume, … Continue reading

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Pacific Centre Rotunda to be Demolished for Denser Commercial Space? REALLY?

In the nearly 450 posts I’ve produced for VanAsItWas over the past two years, I’ve typically focussed on Vancouver’s past. I will continue that practice. But today I will pause to reflect and comment on a news item which I … Continue reading

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John Goss: Baritone, Art Advocate, Politician, and Marxist

John Goss (1894-1953) was an Englishman by birth, but for most of his later years, he made Vancouver his home. In the 1920s and ’30s, Goss toured in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada as a recital singer, gradually building a … Continue reading

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Thomson’s Cowboys

I purchased the image above last week from a friend. It shows a number of men dressed as cowboys. The location of the image, I quickly concluded, was indeterminate; there are no visible landmarks. The photographer was Vancouver professional, Stuart … Continue reading

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Franklin Hall

I was recently browsing through a Vancouver newspaper which was new to me: The Greater Vancouver Chinook. The Chinook seems to have run from 1912-15, then briefly (1915-16) as the Saturday Chinook, and still later as The Standard (1916 and … Continue reading

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Guide to Secondhand Bookstores in 1987-88 (3rd Edition)

The Guide This is the first in a series of a posts I plan to write that will make public my collected editions of this Guide to the Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookstores & Antique Map Print Shops of Vancouver. My reason … Continue reading

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English Bay Theatre

Players When I happened upon the photo shown above in CVA’s collection I said to myself, “That looks like a theatrical company in costume for Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado!” I could find no mention in local newspapers in 1912 for any … Continue reading

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1912

1912 was a significant year in the development of Vancouver’s skyline. Among the structures under construction that year were: Birk’s Building (destroyed 1974); Sun Tower (visible at extreme left of “Vancouver Today” image above); Third CPR Railway Depot (now Waterfront Station). This isn’t visible … Continue reading

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Where W.E.C. Shopped?

Updated October, 2016 This image appears to have been made sometime in the 1970s; right around the same period when the hapless Wile E. Coyote was entertaining fantasies of terrorizing the nameless Roadrunner using machines built from products made by Acme. The company portrayed in the image, … Continue reading

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A Bunch of Characters

These newsboys are a charming lot. The very few adults in the frame are in the background and in most cases, largely obscured by the boys. I spot only one boy who is a visible minority – the black boy apparently resting one … Continue reading

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Use Your Head (With IBM)

Updated September, 2016 This is an exterior shot of IBM’s Vancouver presence on Georgia Street in 1936. Their monosyllabic motto of the time, evidently, was ‘Think’ – which also was the name of an employee/customer magazine that published its first … Continue reading

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Department Store Dining

Updated September, 2016 Woodward’s This is an early Vancouver interior shot of the Woodward’s dining room in what is today East Vancouver, but at the time was considered by most residents to be ‘downtown’. The Bay (Hudson’s Bay Company) This … Continue reading

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Elva Selman Drowns at 2nd Beach

Elva Selman, a 24-year-old member of First Baptist Church, died in the waters off Second Beach on Friday, August 21, 1908 at around 11am. She was the daughter of Samuel and Clara Selman. Samuel was a realtor in the City … Continue reading

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T. T. Shields ‘Second Fiddle’ to A. E. Greenlaw… Who?

This article appeared in the Vancouver Daily World on August 17, 1908. An intriguing aspect of the piece, to me, was that Shields, who was near the beginning of his career as an Ontario Baptist preacher of note (later, pastor at Jarvis Street Baptist … Continue reading

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“What the…?”

I think this is a terrific shot made by some (today unknown) soul with enough spunk to see the potential of the shot and to just shoot it (in a day when camera technology didn’t often reward such spontaneity)! A … Continue reading

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Langara School for Boys

The Langara School for Boys was one of two private schools (the second was a school for girls known as Braemar) that were under the authority of Western Residential Schools. Principal McKay (of Westminster Hall) was president of Western Residential Schools … Continue reading

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Charles Schooley: City Paymaster and Prominent Baptist

Charles Abraham Schooley (1850-1931) was born in Port Colborne, Ontario. He studied law for a couple of years but ultimately withdrew from that course of study due to illness. He then was one of the first men to enter into the moss trade (of … Continue reading

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‘That Old [Herzogian] Feeling’

This image is a powerful reminder, to me at any rate, of a Fred Herzog image. I make no claim at all that this is a Herzog photo (it isn’t; it is one taken for the Vancouver Planning Department by a photographer … Continue reading

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The Gasoline ‘Strike’ of April ’40

The week-long, so-called ‘gasoline strike’ of April 1940 should probably more accurately be called an embargo or boycott. This wasn’t a withdrawal of labour, thus inconveniencing management and pressuring the latter to negotiate with labour’s trade union representatives (the common meaning … Continue reading

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An Audi Baritone: Update

Originally published October 2014. Who is the apparent rock star above? A fellow who, in his day, was a household word: American opera baritone, John Charles Thomas.  Today, his vocal stylings are not quite forgotten (although his name is all … Continue reading

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Classic Images: Update

These two images are, in my judgement, outstanding examples of pictorial photography (or camera work as art). Both were made by Vancouver photographers: Harold Mortimer-Lamb was an amateur; John Vanderpant a professional. But when looking at these two lovely images, such labels … Continue reading

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Charles van Sandwyk

Today’s post is a bit of a detour from the usual for VAIW. I was reminded today, by a couple of events, of these wonderful illustrations. I was engaged this morning in the happy task of re-arranging the volumes in our bookcases … Continue reading

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The ‘Heebie Jeebies’

When I first ran across this image in the City of Vancouver Archive online images, I was inclined to be scornful. Until I remembered some of the ads I’ve seen in recent years for so-called ‘body sculpting solutions’ and a wide … Continue reading

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Frank Hart’s Harangue

The photo was made to commemorate the Maple Tree Monument at the corner of Carrall and Water streets. The monument was created by prolific Vancouver sculptor, Charles Marega, originally as part of a drinking fountain in 1925. In 1986, with … Continue reading

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Mr. Rockefeller Regrets

This letter was written by John D. Rockefeller’s attorney, Starr J. Murphy (1860-1921), in response to a now-lost letter sent by Dr. L. N. MacKechnie (1864-1926) of First Baptist Church (Vancouver). It seems reasonable to conclude from the context that the … Continue reading

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A Five-Hour Tour

87 years ago this month, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester,** came to Vancouver for a few days of R & R (or, rather, G & P . . . Golf and Polo) before a planned itinerary that was to include a stop … Continue reading

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Designated Alien Landing Zones?

Real estate in Vancouver is at a premium. That is a truism. It has nearly always been the case in this city. Sure, there have been periodic and relatively short-lived dips. But only rarely has the real estate market here been … Continue reading

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The Lumberman and His Boy

This is one of my favourite early photographs of Vancouver, the condition of the negative, notwithstanding. I love it for the usual reason for love . . . just because! But also for compositional and historical reasons. It seems to … Continue reading

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Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe Go for a Climb

Cecil Akrigg and Stan Lowe were in their 20s when they made these images to remember their adventures in and around the Lion’s Gate Bridge ca 1939. No mention is made as to whether their climb up the bridge tower (of … Continue reading

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Not-So-Terrifically Respectful

Vancouver’s 31st mayor (1967-72), Tom Campbell, was a pro-development, shoot-from-the-lip civic leader. Campbell is best known to Vancouver heritage advocates and to the communities of Chinatown and Strathcona, as one of the most vocal proponents of the proposed downtown freeway system. … Continue reading

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Charles S. Price: Healing in Vancouver?

  For three weeks in May 1923, Rev. Charles S. Price (1887-1947) held daily (and often twice daily) evangelistic meetings and faith healing services in Vancouver. Price had been in Victoria for several days in April 1923 before coming to … Continue reading

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Fine Work by Unknown Artist

I find lithographs such as this one (from a volume in the Uno Langmann Collection entitled Views of British Columbia and Akaska) to be very appealing. Vancouver Art historian, Gary Sim, has pointed out that that the first image (from the source hard copy of the book; the … Continue reading

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Canada’s First Drive-In Theatre

The Cascade Drive-In in Burnaby was B.C.’s and Canada’s first drive-in theatre. It was started by George and William Steel and Joe and Art Johnson (Steel-Johnson Amusements, Ltd.) in 1946, opening in August of that year. The theatre was built along Grandview … Continue reading

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Vancouver Arts & Crafts Association

The Arts & Crafts Association came into being in April, 1900 and lasted little more than a couple of years.* It had as its “chief aim . . . to encourage artistic feeling and knowledge and to bring the designer … Continue reading

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“What Food These Morsels Be”

This sign was painted on the side of a building on Prior Street many years ago. A friend, who is in his 70s, claims not to remember a time when the advertisement wasn’t there. W. T. Money established W. T. … Continue reading

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Risky Swinging in the ’20s

This couple appear pretty relaxed, given that they are suspended by a none-too-sturdy-looking cable over what I believe (but cannot prove) is Seymour Creek in North Vancouver. I’m led to conclude that it is probably Seymour Creek mainly from context. There are a … Continue reading

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Ye Little Brown Inn

Yesterday, I was looking at a printout of Sheet 16 of Goad’s Fire Insurance Atlas of Vancouver (March 1920) when I noticed the name of a business that was new to me: “Little Brown Inn”. What could that be, I … Continue reading

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A. J. Davis, Vancouver Painter

The painting above was purchased by my good friend, Wes, at a thrift store, recently. He didn’t know who the artist was nor anything of his story. He just liked the painted rendering of the portrait. A bit of digging online revealed that the painting … Continue reading

Posted in art, biography, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Another Controversial Subject: Vancouver Housing

Traffic congestion and inadequate housing are subjects which are revisited regularly in Vancouver. The previous post was a look at how the City tried to persuade residents not to be ‘Traffic Peakers’ in the 1940s. This post is a reproduction of … Continue reading

Posted in homes/apts/condos, Jack Lindsay | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

“Traffic Peaker” vs “Polar Cap Melter”?

This 1940s ad, which I’m assuming was a production of the City of Vancouver, makes use of all three of the classical rhetorical appeals. There is ethos in the use of statistics, figures, and a chart to persuade the audience … Continue reading

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Mudge the Poultry Man

William Mudge’s business was known in early Vancouver as Mudge & Son and (probably better) as Mudge the Poultry Man. As indicated in the latter name, he specialized in providing chicken products to hard-working, hungry Vancouverites. He hung his shingle … Continue reading

Posted in biography, businesses, P. T. Timms, street scenes, stuart thomson | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lest We Impress

It is all too easy to impress the present onto the past. Especially in cases where there has been an attempt made by contemporary architects to ‘nod’ to a prior building that once occupied a lot. A good example of this … Continue reading

Posted in Frank J. Leonard, street scenes, stuart thomson, yesterday & today | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Block of Libraries

 In 1925, Mrs. A. J. Davidson would start a little bookstore business across the street from the home shown above (later she would move the business next door to the home, later down the block a few doors; it would never … Continue reading

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Val Quan

Late-breaking information on Val Quan (June 13, 2016): See comment from Bonnie, Val’s grand-daughter. She kindly provided some additional details. The information she supplied has been incorporated below.  Val Quan (sometimes spelled Quon), his second wife, Pauline, and their family … Continue reading

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The Lesters and their Dance Schools/Halls

It’s Hazy in Detroit There isn’t a lot known about the proprietress of M. Lester Dancing Academy. Maud was an Ontario girl (although exactly where in Ontario she was born and raised or what her maiden name was isn’t clear to … Continue reading

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J. Q. A. Henry Declines FBC Vancouver’s Call

This post is a footnote to the history of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. Neither These Sixty Years (1947) by W. A. Carmichael nor Our First Century (1986) by Leslie J. Cummings (the two official histories of the church) makes mention of a call from … Continue reading

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Put By Your Pennies

This image is among my favourite school room photos of days gone by. Mainly, I suppose, because it seems so greatly to resemble my own elementary school experience a couple of decades later. It surprises me how little seems to have … Continue reading

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Salvation Army Service at First Baptist Church

The image above and the two below were taken by photographer, Jack Lindsay, of a Salvation Army service held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Vancouver. According to City of Vancouver archivists, these were made sometime in the period between … Continue reading

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Fairview/Roxy Theatre

There isn’t much known about the Fairview Theatre (1912-38), later called the Roxy Theatre (1939-55?). In fact, I have never before seen a photograph of the theatre. According to the building permit for the Fairview (which appears in the permit database … Continue reading

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Belmont Grocery and Quality Gifts

  These are two separate images of adjacent shops made at the corner of Granville & Nelson in 1969. Left image: CVA 780-26 – Belmont Grocery, Theatre Row, [at 999 Granville Street] 1969. Right image: CVA 780-24 – [View of a] … Continue reading

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Victory on 500 Block of West Hastings

This is a very nice image made by Jack Lindsay, probably on VE or VJ Day.* The photographer was on ground level for this shot, standing in a vacant parking spot in front of the Bank of Toronto building (later, the … Continue reading

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PNE Rocket Science

This photo shows the 1958 Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) feature celebrating British Columbia’s centennial year.* Project X “was kept secret until the eve of the fair, when it was revealed that the attraction was a display of modern rocketry. The … Continue reading

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The Foot of Main Street

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Views of CPR Right of Way: Before and After 1932

These two images of the CPR right of way in Vancouver’s downtown east side have features in common. Both photos were made in the midst of the Great Depression, all of the people in the photo are men, all wearing dark suits. … Continue reading

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Lost? Found: Pendrell Street Grounds

This photo shows a ‘park’ in Vancouver’s West End that seems to have been all but forgotten. It was located on Pendrell Street (D.L. 185, Block 70, Lot 31); an empty lot at the time the image was made. It was two … Continue reading

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‘Battle of the Jowls’? (or ‘Singing from a Different Hymnal’)?

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John Morton

  John Morton (1834-1912) was one of the first residents – arguably the first resident, although others have laid claim to the distinction – of modern-day Vancouver. He came to British Columbia in 1862 hoping to strike it rich in … Continue reading

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1936 Commissioned Image of Granville

I very much enjoy the image above, made by one of my favourite local photographers, Stuart Thomson. I like the gentle blur of the strolling crowd. And I especially like the lady caught in profile looking into Saba Bros. Silk … Continue reading

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Robsonstrasse in Days of Yore

We are looking at the south side of Robson above, between Thurlow and Bute streets in the mid-1970s. Below, is a very fetching scene, in my judgement (note the effective use of light and shadow), of the same block, but across the … Continue reading

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Ernest Augustus Muling, French Chef

Ernest Augustus Muling (1861-1949) was a Frenchman by birth (in Blumenau), an Englishman by nationality, and a chef by profession. He came to Vancouver from Brisbane, Australia where he seems to have spent his twenties and early thirties and where … Continue reading

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The Old Cecil

I refer in this post to the “old” Cecil Hotel (on the north side of 100 block West Hastings Street) to help distinguish it from the newer Cecil Hotel with which most Vancouver contemporaries are probably more aware – the one formerly on Granville … Continue reading

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Sir Charles Tupper the Object of ‘Fearless Loathing’!

In one of the early posts to this site (May 2014), I remarked on what now seems to be a companion photo of the one above*. The City Archives (the source of both images) do not identify the central male, adult, figure … Continue reading

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From a Photographer Some 80 Years Ago: ‘Happy New Year’!

This corny Christmas/New Year photo was a ‘selfie’ creation of Vancouver professional photographer Stuart Thomson, made sometime in the 1930s (the later 1930s, in my opinion). May this year be a peaceful one on the Earth and in our neighbourhoods.

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Butter Packing ’40s-Style

It is mildly shocking to our (or, perhaps more accurately, my) contemporary sensibilities to see butter being cut by patently non-antiseptic metal machinery and handled by people without any gloves. Ah well, the folks who consumed the butter were doubtless glad … Continue reading

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Rev. Dr. Elbert Paul, First Baptist Pastor

This is an image of a Senior Minister of First Baptist Church, Elbert Paul (1902-1985). He served the church for nineteen years (1932-51), the longest period to date. He took on the pastorship in a time of significant challenge: it … Continue reading

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Happiness Cafe and Neighbours

I love this Walter Frost image for several reasons. But my three principal reasons appear below. First of all it shows a city block that was on the cusp of huge change. Within a few years of the making of this photo, this … Continue reading

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Two Toots for Terminal City Cycling Club!

These folks are seated near the Stanley Park reservoir which, for many years, supplied water to the city. According to J. S. Matthews’* notes which accompany this image, the two buglers shown in the middle of the shot used their instruments … Continue reading

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South Granville’s Mid-Century Office Building

The Block Building (CBK Van Norman) stands at the corner of (South) Granville and 11th Ave. It was built in 1965, I believe. The art work over the main door is a work by Lionel and Patricia Thomas and is called … Continue reading

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Early Development of 1000 Block Georgia Street

A Very Modest Undertaking (Telfords) A building permit was issued to the Telford brothers in 1912 to build an apartment block at 1018 Georgia Street (architect was W. M. Dodd & Co.). According to the permit, it would be a 10-storey structure made … Continue reading

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Vancouver DIDN’T Need Vander Zalm, as it Turned Out.

This image is from one of three Non-Partisan Association TV advertisements made for Vancouver mayoral candidate in 1984, Bill Vander Zalm, and the other NPA candidates for City Council that year. You may well have forgotten (or not realized) that ‘the … Continue reading

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Feeling Less-Than-Fresh in THIS Crush?

These crowds were dispersing up Georgia Street from watching the parade for Vancouver’s 60th Anniversary of civic incorporation (our Diamond Jubilee, 1886-1946). Thanks are due to JMV for the detailed comment and links below. As to landmarks, there is a Standard … Continue reading

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The Fabulously Politically Incorrect Zoppes

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PNE Multiplex vs. BC Place

According to a very good history of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Vancouver’s Fair, a Multiplex was formally endorsed by the association in 1978 as a way of overhauling the PNE physical plant in Hastings Park. It was proposed that the Multiplex … Continue reading

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Concert Pianist, Conductor, Theatre Manager…

Maynard Joiner lived a long and fruitful life. He was born on one coast of North America (in Boston) in 1894 and died on another (in Vancouver) in 1990. By the time he was 10, he was considered a child prodigy. His forté was as … Continue reading

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When a “Shooting Gallery” Was Where Guns Were Fired

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“Not the Symbol, but the Living Presence…”

These images marked the first visit to Vancouver by a reigning Canadian monarch just a few months before the declaration of war with Germany by both Canada and Britain. There is an episode of CBC Radio’s Rewind which is a sort of … Continue reading

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Dr. Telford

There were, in fact, three men known as “Dr. Telford” in early Vancouver and the three were brothers – dentist George (1876-1920); James Lyle (1889-1960), an M.D. who was CCF MLA for Vancouver East and later became the 24th mayor … Continue reading

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Granville Bridge by Landauer

This is an outstanding image made of what today we typically refer to as “the Granville Bridge” (left), but which is in fact the third and unquestionably the most massive of the three False Creek crossings at roughly this location. The image was made … Continue reading

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George Marsden, Early Photographer

George Marsden was a young Vancouver photographer with his own local business, for a brief time.  There are just two images in the City of Vancouver Archives online collection (none in Vancouver Public Library’s historical photos) that are attributed to him, … Continue reading

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Hammond Furniture

The buildings that today house at least three businesses on the NW and NE corners of Clark at Venables were ones that I’ve wondered about each time I’ve gone past. This morning, as I was browsing through online photos of the City … Continue reading

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Nominee for Silliest Pioneer Surname…

While I was riding a city bus across Greater Vancouver this afternoon, I was looking for inspiration for this post from a PDF copy of the ca1908 Elite Directory of Vancouver. Among the items I spotted is my nominee for one of the … Continue reading

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Shack to ‘Monument’

The shack-like home of Hopps Sign (and everything else on this block – residential and commercial) is where, today, the International-style, monumental structure dedicated for many years to the sorting of mail is located. We are looking north on Homer Street up … Continue reading

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The Gifted Mr. Bradbury

A real pleasure for me in this photo-historical adventure I’ve called VanAsItWas is in discovering and re-discovering crisp, well-exposed images that speak of an attention to detail and a real concern (whether consciously or not) for issues that would ultimately be … Continue reading

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Reg Rose

Reg Rose was born in England in 1901 and came to Canada in 1912. After serving in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserves, 1916-19, and taking several short-term jobs, he began working for the YMCA, serving in Calgary, Lethbridge and Edmonton as the Secretary of that organization. In … Continue reading

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Scenic Subterranean Studio 20

The above portrait is of gently eccentric Jurgen Gothe (1944-2015), during his years as CBC Radio’s host of DiscDrive. He died in April. DiscDrive was produced from what Gothe regularly referred to on-air as “Scenic Subterranean Studio 20” in Vancouver’s CBC building at … Continue reading

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When Flying Was Still Exotic

This image is one of several available online at VPL showing Clancy’s Sky Diner Cafe. This unusual cafe took clever advantage of the long, narrow space to create the impression of an aircraft fuselage. The Sky Diner seems to have been … Continue reading

Posted in cafes/restaurants/eateries, Foncie Pulcie, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Remembrance Services Past at First Baptist Church

I was browsing through images in the Vancouver Public Library historical photos database this morning; I saw the image above and almost immediately recognized it for what it was (and what had, apparently, been forgotten or mislaid in the institutional … Continue reading

Posted in biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, jennifer friesen, people, Ross J. Kenward | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Congregational Church Picnic?

The image below is an early one from the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA). On the glass positive of the image, there are notes; these are difficult to make out, but I’m pretty sure it reads as follows, starting at the … Continue reading

Posted in Bailey & Neelands, biography, churches, First Baptist Church, Vancouver, Freeland, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Granville Bowling Before Commodore: LaSalle Recreations

These gents, who appear to be pretty pleased with themselves, were apparently in a bowling tournament held in 1929 at LaSalle Recreations at 945 Granville St. This was a year before Commodore Lanes came along (on the other side of … Continue reading

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Funland Amusement Arcade (The Orillia)

This is an inspired image by Otto F Landauer of part of The Orillia block (SW corner Robson and Seymour) in its full colour (in every way!) in contrast with the duotones of the new RBC building on Robson at Granville. For … Continue reading

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Shipcraft on Human Scale

This photo is of the hull of a small pleasure craft under construction at Vancouver’s Shipyards at the opening of the 1930s (and located then at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow, near where the Shangrila building is today). A decade later, … Continue reading

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Salon as Clinic . . . Enduring Myth

This ’30s image is a reminder to me of the myth (which endures today, albeit in different form) of an implied near equivalence of hygiene standards between the purveyors of beauty products and those of medicine. Witness, above, the white … Continue reading

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Bob’s Market

This was once the downtown site of Chapters bookstore. Rumour has it that a sportswear arm of Canadian Tire will be the next retail resident of the SE corner of Robson and Howe. At the location where Anne Muirhead Florist was … Continue reading

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Canterbury Coffee Shop

This photo makes me smile. It shows one of my favourite things (a coffee shop) on one of my most frequented walking streets (Burrard) and features a marching band, to boot! The band appears to be on one of the … Continue reading

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Early Vancouver Art Gallery

This is an early incarnation of the Vancouver Art Gallery (which was housed at this time in the same building as the City Museum (the ancestor of the Museum of Vancouver) and the Vancouver Public Library. All three were in … Continue reading

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Stanley in Winter

This slideshow is a compilation by me of some of the best winter scenes of Stanley Park in the holdings of the City of Vancouver Archives.

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A 1977 View from Harbour Centre

This is a very different view from the comparable one you would see today from atop Vancouver’s Harbour Centre. This image appears to have been made a few months after the building opened in June, 1977. The sprawling downtown Woodward’s department store complex has, of … Continue reading

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Need Chicks for Your Backyard? Get ‘Em This Week at Woodward’s!

This stack of brooding cages full of young chicks was apparently in the basement of Woodward’s Department Store in East Vancouver. My suspicion is that these chicks were sold to the only-partially-urbanized residents of Vancouver, some of whom kept a couple … Continue reading

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“All Kinds of Weather, We Stick Together…”*

The “Lord Mayor” of Yokohama in 1969 is pictured here riding in what appears to be a North American car travelling on Burrard Street just north of Georgia Street. Vancouver and Yokohama seem to have been honouring the twinning of the Canadian … Continue reading

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The Robert Marrion Family

I find the photograph above to be a very charming early Vancouver vignette. It was made, according to City of Vancouver archivists, in 1897 at Greer’s Beach – which today is known as Kitsilano Beach – and shows (among others) … Continue reading

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An All But Unknown Burrard Street

This is a northward view along Burrard Street from near Melville Street (the street that today is adjacent to the Burrard St. Skytrain Station). The most striking aspect of this image to me is that the only building I recognize … Continue reading

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‘Geeks’ of the ’40s

These gents (I don’t see any women, do you?) were evidently having a mid-tourney smoke break at the time Jack Lindsay captured this moment. I imagine that the location was at the club headquarters of the Vancouver Chess Club at the … Continue reading

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A Man of Influence from UBC

The undergraduate pictured third from the left in the UBC photo above would become an Ottawa ‘mandarin’ within a few years of the date this exposure was made. In 1929, Norman Robertson joined the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa, and by 1941 … Continue reading

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‘Tame’ Big Band

I have been a big fan of the ‘big band’ music genre for many years (when friends were wild about KISS in the 1970s, I was nuts for Benny Goodman), but Wayne King was not a band leader with whose … Continue reading

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Fur Vault

The first and second image in this post were apparently commissioned by Nelson’s Laundry to local pro photographer Jack Lindsay to demonstrate the secure fur coat storage service offered by the launderer. It is difficult to recall/conceive in this day when fur … Continue reading

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China Creek Cycle Oval

This cycling oval was originally built for the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954. After the Games were over, it became known as China Creek Cycle Oval. The oval seems to have been located just east of where … Continue reading

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Handsome Garage

Ah, these were good days; when architects and automotive dealers/mechanics cared enough to make even a garage appear as though it were a work of art! This was one of two Fred Cheeseman garages in Vancouver at this time. This one was … Continue reading

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Photographers of the Pacific Northwest in Vancouver

With panorama images of this sort (of which W J Moore was an acknowledged local professional specialist), I like to use the magnifying icon to inspect individual faces and speculate on what each person may have been thinking at the time … Continue reading

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Which of These Things Doesn’t Belong (Today)?

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Gift of the Gods

This image of a PNE float is, in my judgement, one of the most outrageous of those I have seen. It was a bit of a puzzle, at first, as to just what was being advertised. The central figure – … Continue reading

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