First in an occasional series on the W.J. Moore panoramic photographs.
Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, we’ve just completed a project to digitize 399 panoramic photographs by W.J. Moore.
Panoramic photographs are defined as being at least twice as wide as they are high. The format was popular for group photographs of teams and at conferences or other gatherings, and because it captured the breadth of landscape views in one unbroken image.
The Vancouver Exhibition was later renamed the Pacific National Exhibition. Click through the image above to see what it looked like before mini-donuts, the roller coaster, and the Prize Home.
The original negatives are huge. They were taken in the first half of the 1900s with a No. 8 Cirkut Outfit camera, which produced negatives 8 inches high and up to 8 feet long. It’s a demanding format, but Moore had the skill and experience necessary to produce excellent photographs.
Providing public access to photographs this large is awkward and may result in damage to the originals. Most of these are tightly rolled negatives, which are difficult to view properly. Giving access through digital files is safer and faster.
To see all the Moore panoramic photographs we’ve digitized and download hi-resolution copies, you can use our online search. To find only these images, search for “Moore” in Name Access Points and “Panoramic” in Subject Access Points, like this:
For a quick look at some highlights, see our first contribution to Flickr, a set devoted to Moore’s Panoramic photographs. View them in Flickr’s “original size” and it feels like walking around in the past.
The selected images include:
- The industrial development of False Creek (not a condo in sight!)
- Vancouver baseball champions
- Shipbuilding and other local industries
- The waterfront
There’s even a 360-degree view of Vancouver from the roof of the second Hotel Vancouver in 1914.
We’ll digitize other panoramic photographs from our holdings over the coming months. Feel free to use and remix all these images in whatever way inspires you.
In future posts, we’ll highlight the photographer, some unusual features of Cirkut photographs, the Cirkut Outfit itself, and the rich images that Moore created.
See something in these images that you remember, or that surprises you? Have you used any of them to create something cool? Let us know below.
This digitization project was made possible by funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia.