Monday, February 25, 2013

Film at 1907

On Friday, I promised to tell you about a film that was made here in 1907 by Seattle movie maker, William Harbeck. I also thought it would be interesting to show you a few photos from that time as well so you could see Vancouver as he did. These photos came from the Vancouver Public Library collection of historical photos.

The top photo is a view along West Hastings - you can see the Woodwards building. The second one is at Brockton Point in Stanley Park, the third is at the corner of Hastings and Granville Street and the fourth photo was taken on Granville Street. All were taken in 1907.

This film is only seven minutes long but it apparently has thrilled those who have seen it. Harbeck filmed his journey along Granville and Hastings, along Westminster (now Main Street) as well as Carrall, Powell, Cordova, Robson and Davie. Harbeck's film ends at about the 1100 block of Davie Street.

This is a 1907 wanted poster for 'The Grey Fox' and to read more on him, please consult this entry.

All the men in this film wore hats and all the women were attired in dark, ground length skirts. People hurried in and out of stores and occasionally a recognizable sign could be seen: Knowlton's Drugs, P. Burns (the third photo is of the legendary meat packer, taken about 1897),the Edison Grand Theatre; Woodwards and 'Cascade: A Beer without Peer'. The second CPR station at the foot of Granville, Trorey's Jewellry Store and the original Province newspaper building are also seen. 

Three months before this film was shot, George Trorey sold his store to Birks, though they kept him on as manager. Birks also kept the now famous clock, which you can see in the third photo.If you want to learn more about the Birks clock go here.

In this film you can see streets full of horse drawn carriages, pedestrians and lots of people on bicycles. There were a few cars in Vancouver in 1907 but apparently they aren't on this film.

How this film came into Vancouver's possession is an interesting story.

It was found in the basement of an abandoned theatre in Australia. It had been discarded by movie house managers and was with other films no longer watched.

Someone looked at the film and thought it was an American city so they sent it to the Library of Congress. It was viewed there but someone rightly decided it wasn't a city in the U.S. So, off to the National Archives in Ottawa the film went. There the location was recognized as Vancouver.

A little side tidbit: A resident along the route, occupying a studio on the second floor at 570 Granville, was Emily Carr.

 Do you remember when I wrote on the great fire in New Westminster in 1898? If not, here is a link to the original entry.

While going over photos in the Vancouver Public Library I found two that show the disaster. The first was taken by Stuart Thompson and the second by Dominion Photo Co.

It is necessary to thank the History of Metropolitan Vancouver website for the information on the 1907 film.

A piece of news. The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story has been named MasterKoda's Indie published Best Book of 2012.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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