The First World War left few Canadians untouched. About 8% of the country’s population served during the war. Of those, about 10% died and almost a quarter were wounded. Citizens at home worked to support those fighting overseas.
1929 Armistice Day ceremonies. The Cenotaph was erected in 1924. Stuart Thomson, photographer. Reference code AM1535-: CVA 99-2010
Many organizations, societies and companies raised money to help the troops. Continue reading
Are they really haunted? You’ll have to find out for yourself. These are the stories we’ve heard.
Evoking a medieval French castle, the Chateau-style Hotel Vancouver, complete with steep copper roof (now painted green), ornate dormers, and creepy gargoyles, is alleged to be haunted by an elegant “lady in red” who patrols the 14th floor. This fashionable apparition has reportedly been seen walking on an invisible ledge by hotel guests, employees and film crews. It is said that the hotel’s elevator often stops on the 14th floor, and as the elevator door opens on its own, the lady in red is seen gliding through the hallway . . . .
Hotel Vancouver – Archibald & Schofield, 1928-1939. Reference code AM54-S4-: Hot P70
This medieval style, fortress-like landmark is Vancouver ‘s earliest drill hall. Its notable features include two rounded towers complete with battlements, and rusticated stone trim. Three and a half foot thick walls and a parapet made from Gabriola Island limestone rest solidly on a foundation of huge granite blocks. The Hall has always housed Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s senior militia regiment, The British Columbia Regiment – Duke of Connaught’s Own. Various eerie sounds are the most commonly reported evidence of other-worldly residents: footsteps. . . . voices. . . . books falling from shelves. . . . items falling from walls. However, the image of a man has been observed in the Senior NCO’s and Officer’s messes. Little is known of the identity of those who haunt the Drill Hall, but the military personnel who trained here saw action in the Boer War, as well as the First and Second World Wars. Continue reading
This post was written by Kathy Kinakin, one of our volunteers.
What to do when set to the task of rehousing of 335 17.8cm x 43cm panorama glass plate negatives stored in the drawers of a filing cabinet? The negatives are part of the Stuart Thomson fonds. Thomson was active as a commercial photographer in Vancouver for several decades in the first half of the 20th century. The negatives are large, very fragile and heavy, and because of their unusual size, the solution isn’t as easy as putting them in standard archival envelopes and an off-the-shelf archival glass negative storage box. In this case, a custom-made housing was necessary.
The glass negatives as they were stored in the drawers of the filing cabinet. Photograph by Kathy Kinakin.
Glass plate negatives are normally safest when housed in envelopes and placed upright on their long edge in a storage box, as this protects the delicate surface of the negative from pressure. The size and weight of these negatives meant that only 7-10 of them could be put in a single box before it became too heavy to handle. A box like this would be quite thin and very unstable when sitting on a shelf so this was not a practical option. A larger, more stable box with spacers to securely hold the negatives could be used, though with the number of negatives needing to be housed, this wouldn’t be an efficient use of space. With all of this in mind, I decided to build a custom sink mat for each negative, and a custom clamshell box for a group of mats. Continue reading
Fifth in a series about the BC Sugar records
In an earlier post we showcased the work of BC Sugar chemists and the records they created and used. Company agriculturists and plant geneticists also contributed to sugar beet production research. The first PhD hired by BC Sugar was Dr. Frank Peto, an agriculturalist with a doctorate in cytogenetics from the University of Wales.
Dr. Frank Peto in a sugarcane field in the Dominican Republic at the BC Sugar-owned Ozama Sugar Refining Company, ca.1945. Reference code: 2011-092.4388.
Dr. Peto was head of BC Sugar’s agricultural research department. His career started as a National Research Council plant researcher and his specialized knowledge led to working with beet seeds at Buckerfields Ltd. In 1944 the portion of Buckerfields dealing with sugar beet seeds was purchased by BC Sugar. Continue reading
Next week is Vancouver Fashion Week. Let’s look at some of the records we have related to fashion.
Vancouver Sun fashion editor Marie Moreau poses on the roof of the Hudson’s Bay store, March 2, 1942. Reference code AM1184-S3-: CVA 1184-114. Photographer Jack Lindsay.
We have images from fashion shows of the past. These runway models are wearing belted bathing suits made by Jantzen, as the “diving girl” logo is visible. It’s hard to tell if they are made of wool, but it was still a popular material for knitted swimsuits in the 1930s. Continue reading
This post was written by Christine Hagemoen.
As a volunteer at the Archives, I was recently tasked with sorting through boxes that contained display materials and photo enlargements from previous Archives exhibits and displays (pre-Internet days). The object was to find interesting content for possible Authenticity blog posts. One of the boxes was marked “Diners” and as a food history buff I was immediately intrigued. Curiously, the box only contained two photo enlargements. I was immediately drawn to this image of the White Lunch from 1918.
White Lunch Ltd. No. 4, 806 Granville St. Vancouver, B.C., 8 Mar. 1918. Stuart Thomson, photographer. Reference code: AM1535-: CVA 99-5167
The photograph shows the rather elegant interior of the White Lunch including customers, servers, menu and prices. In 1918, you could get a bacon & egg sandwich for 15 cents, oyster stew for 25 cents, and a hot clubhouse sandwich for 35 cents.
My curiosity was piqued, so I decided to search the Archives’ database for more images. I started by using the subject term “Restaurants, diners, lunchrooms, etc.” to find out what and where Vancouverites were eating in the 20th century. Continue reading
From about 1894 to 1908, summer camping on the beach was considered a fashionable holiday tradition, enjoyed by many of Vancouver’s early well-to-do families.
The most popular spot was Greer’s (now Kits) Beach, where “tent town” comprised two long rows of tents on either side of an irregular “street” of beach sand. Greer’s Beach was reached by boat down False Creek from Carrall Street; on foot across the CPR trestle bridge or via a sinuous trail through the cleared area; or by buggy over a former wagon track used by loggers with their oxen.
English Bay Beach was another popular camping site, where, in 1898, “about two score tents extended to the West” and “many were commodious and richly furnished.”
These are the camping beaches shown in the images below.
Beach camping was discontinued after 1908, due to improper sanitation conditions and increased development. Continue reading
. . . I am once more entrap’d in this infernal Ocean, and am totally at a loss to say when I shall be able to quit it . . .
George Vancouver’s signature from the Petersham letter below. Reference code AM923
Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2013 starts tomorrow!
Last year, we showed you some of our beer-related holdings. This year, we’re featuring an 1898 oil painting of the entrance to Stanley Park. Inset in one corner is the house that became the original Stanley Park Brewery. According to Major Matthews, the house was built by George Grant Mackay at the foot of Georgia Street at a what was then 725 Chilco Street.
Stanley Park entrance and Stanley Park Brewery. Painted in 1897. Artist anonymous. Reference code AM1562-: 72-574.
Thanks to funding provided by the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives, we have been able to describe and digitize over one thousand of James Crookall’s images and make them available online.
James Crookall was born November 7, 1887 in Preston, Lancashire, and came to Vancouver as a child. Throughout his life, Crookall was an avid amateur photographer and an enthusiastic outdoorsman. He was an active member of the Vancouver Photographic Society and regularly exhibited his photographs in international salons. He died on July 27, 1960, and his fonds was donated to the Archives by Mrs. Doris Crookall in 1979.
Self portrait, 1938. Reference code AM640-: CVA 260-978.