Tag Archives: photographs

Curated shows available on YouTube

Have you ever seen the curated shows of images and video that are on display in the Archives’ Gallery or across from the elevators in the City Hall Rotunda? We’ve been told that many people have missed their elevator so they could watch more of the show.

We have made all 5 shows available on YouTube for viewing and re-use. Feel free to download the high-resolution version if you have a screen you’d like to program with historical Vancouver content. Continue reading

Wintertime Frolicking

It’s been chilly lately. Let’s see how people in Vancouver enjoyed the cold weather of past years.

In 1929, small bodies of water froze and it was possible to skate.

Skaters with houses in the background

Couples cavorting on Trout Lake, 1929. Stuart Thomson photograph. Reference code AM1535-: CVA 99-1901.

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Hogan’s Alley Before the Demolition

Hogan’s Alley was the colloquial name for the lane between Union and Prior Streets, roughly between Main Street and Jackson Avenue. It was home to Vancouver’s first black community. Many of its buildings were demolished as part of the Georgia Viaduct Replacement project.

Two portraits of Fielding William Spotts, age 78, at 217 1/2 Hogan's Alley, Vancouver. May 28, 1935. Reference code AM54-S4-: Port N3.2.

Two portraits of Fielding William Spotts, age 78, at 217 1/2 Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver. May 28, 1935. Reference code AM54-S4-: Port N3.2.

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New in the Public Domain for 2014

On January 1st, while we were singing Auld Lang Syne, the copyright expired for some of our holdings: they are now in the public domain in Canada. This means that they are no longer restricted to being viewed only at the Archives, but are available online to all. Here’s a quick look at what’s become easier to view and re-use.

This is a 2-reel documentary made by CBC in 1963 to be broadcast as part of The Morning Show. Continue reading

Ghosts of Vancouver: our city’s best-known haunts

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

“Through the Lens: Building Vancouver’s History” at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Join historians John Atkin and Michael Kluckner  in the Space Centre‘s digital Planetarium Star Theatre to look back at Vancouver as you’ve never seen it before. Two “indoor” digital walking tours allow you to experience the changes that have enveloped our city over the last 100 years.

Michael Kluckner's presentation pays special attention to the  Olympic Village and Kerrisdale areas. View of Arbutus Street at 37th Avenue, Reference code AM54-S4-3-: PAN NX

Michael Kluckner’s presentation pays special attention to the Olympic Village and Kerrisdale areas. View of Arbutus Street at 37th Avenue, Reference code AM54-S4-3-: PAN NX

The presentations use a selection of images from our W. J. Moore panorama negatives, which we’ve featured here before.  Remarkably, the Space Centre has used the same high-resolution JPG images that you can download from our online search and projected them to fill the Star Theatre. They are matched with stunning modern panoramas and other audiovisual elements to produce two unique shows.

7:00pm Wednesday November 6 (John Atkin)
7:00pm Wednesday December 4 (Michael Kluckner)
Tickets available at the door.

Boxes and More Boxes: Constructing Safer Housing for Panoramic Glass Plate Negatives

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.

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

Vancouver Fashion Week

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.

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

Exploring Vancouver’s fast food past

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

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

Camping at the Seaside: The “fashionable” thing to do in summer

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