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Aerial Photos of BC from 1940's and 1950's


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#21 LJ

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:41 PM

These are astounding. I know BC Archives has some vintage aerial photos but I doubt they have this level of detail and they sure aren't online and zoomable like these are. This is a major find and I hope there are more to come.

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Yeah, these are almost like military pics taken with specialized equipment.
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#22 LJ

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:43 PM

Recently my father passed away and while cleaning out his place, we came across thousands of aerial photographs of BC. Most of them from the 1940's and 1950's. I've always had a fascination with vintage photos, so I started scanning them and putting them on a web site.


Did your father take these pics or did he get them from somewhere else?

They are highly detailed as though a special camera mount and equipment were used.
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#23 MarkP

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:45 AM

Did your father take these pics or did he get them from somewhere else?

They are highly detailed as though a special camera mount and equipment were used.


My dad worked for a number of mapping companies from the 1940's onward. He worked mostly in drafting and managing the photolab. He was a camera operator on a few flights. But I don't know if he actually took any of these images. The last company he worked for was getting rid of all the old air film because everything was going digital. This was the early/mid 1990's. Thousands, if not tens of thousands of rolls of film were sent for "silver recovery", basically recycling for b/w film...recovering the silver in the process. A lot of the imagery wasn't that exciting. Lots of vertical photos for mining and forestry. My dad and one other guy from work asked the owner of the company if they could keep some of the film. He agreed and my dad took the "obliques" which had moved with him from company to company for the past 40 years, and the other guy took several hundred rolls of vertical air film which he still has in his barn. :-)

The slightly longer version of the story is here:
http://vintageairpho...com/background/

As for the equipment, the flight log has a "camera" column which references a K-20 and an F-24. They seem to be military cameras from WWII.

Mark

#24 Bingo

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:53 AM

I am facinated by aerial photography and these images are a real treasure. I hope they do not get lost or destroyed.

Here is an excellent documentary on how aerial photography helped to win WW II. I saw it on PBS a few months ago.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2187853726/

#25 Holden West

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:06 PM


http://taccola.blogs.../contrails.html

There's a lot of stuff on the Internet about those cameras. Obviously, only a very limited number of private and government agencies had the capabilities of taking photos this detailed and I suspect a lot of the old stuff has been chucked out because it was "outdated" as you said.
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#26 MarkP

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:56 AM

I'm hoping you guys can help me out. Since the Victoria images seem to be generating the most interest, I'm scanning more of the area....but I'm not very familiar with Vancouver Island. Maybe you guys can help with descriptions of the area?

The image I'm working on right now is of Esquimalt. It's where Johnson St turns into Esquimalt Rd. Here's a Google Map link : http://g.co/maps/ud66z

The image covers the bridge looking west to Esquimalt. Does the bridge have a name? And does that far east side of Esquimalt have a name?

Thanks,
Mark

#27 arfenarf

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:03 AM

Hi, Mark. You're looking at Victoria West, or "Vic West," former village site of the Songhees people. Your photos probably show a huge industrial area on the water and houses on the higher land.

#28 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:03 AM

I'm hoping you guys can help me out. Since the Victoria images seem to be generating the most interest, I'm scanning more of the area....but I'm not very familiar with Vancouver Island. Maybe you guys can help with descriptions of the area?

The image I'm working on right now is of Esquimalt. It's where Johnson St turns into Esquimalt Rd. Here's a Google Map link : http://g.co/maps/ud66z

The image covers the bridge looking west to Esquimalt. Does the bridge have a name? And does that far east side of Esquimalt have a name?

Thanks,
Mark


Oh, dear, yes you are a little foggy on Victoria stuff. No problem. We are REALLY loving these photos.

Yes, the bridge is called the Johnson St. Bridge, it is currently being replaced and has been the subject of several years of "front-page" controversy here.

Its western end spills vehicles into Victoria West, much more commonly referred to as "Vic West". Esquimalt is several hundred yards further west.

So, here Victoria West is green, Esquimalt is white to its left. Songhees is just a neighbourhood of Victoria, in Vic West. Or maybe it's not officially part of Vic West. It's got higher-end homes, and maybe likes to be distinct from Vic West, which was until recently, a more run-down part of Victoria. In any event, they are just neighbourhoods in the municipality of Victoria. Esquimalt is another municipality.



So the next bridge north is officially the Point Ellice Bridge, but almost everyone calls it the Bay St. Bridge. The next bridge is a former rail-only bridge, the Selkirk Trestle. Now it's for pedestrians.
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#29 MarkP

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

Well, I'm glad I spoke to you guys first. It turns out I was spun around. It WAS the Johnson Street Bridge, but facing back towards the same Hudson's Bay Company store....not Esquimalt.

I'll have it posted in a few minutes....

http://vintageairpho...com/bo-47-1455/

And feel free to post comments on the web site if you want to point out things that have changed or things that other people might miss...

Thanks...
Mark

#30 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:48 PM

Amazing, MarkP, utterly awesome that level of detail.

Were these taken for some government survey department?

EDIT: Oh, OK, now I read the background info. Very nice. Sorry about the loss of your dad of course.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#31 jklymak

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:54 PM

^ Wow, the interior of Market Square was pretty junky in 1947! Also impressive how much open land there is around the bridge. Maybe the folks who want this left open are correct in its historical authenticity ;-)

#32 LJ

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

Slingers Wine, sounds delish!
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#33 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:14 PM

Well, I'm glad I spoke to you guys first. It turns out I was spun around. It WAS the Johnson Street Bridge, but facing back towards the same Hudson's Bay Company store....not Esquimalt.

I'll have it posted in a few minutes....

http://vintageairpho...com/bo-47-1455/

And feel free to post comments on the web site if you want to point out things that have changed or things that other people might miss...

Thanks...
Mark


Look at all the big fee-standing billboards along Pandora, from Quadra all the way down past Blanshard. Last lot on Yates as you hit Wharf, on your right as you stop... is still a damn parking lot. No Taco truck in the pic though.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#34 Holden West

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:39 PM

Fantastic! Great detail of seldom-seen east Victoria.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#35 Nparker

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

That last photo was my favourite so far. I was able to pick out the site of my condo building next door to a recognizable, but quite different Sands Funeral Chapel. It's amazing how many large homes remained on Quadra Street at that time.

Note also the original facade of the Oddfellows building on Douglas. What an awful loss that was.

And just how long has the lot bounded by Cormorant-Pandora-Douglas-Blanshard sat underutilized?

Thanks again MarkP. :)

#36 aastra

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:22 PM

Those houses on Quadra Street were very impressive. I had no idea. It boggles the mind, the stuff that Victoria has lost.

#37 Sparky

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:24 PM

Eddy's.......on, over, and under Douglas.....priceless.

#38 aastra

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

What's that large lost building on Fisgard in Chinatown?

Edit: It seems like it must have been a modified/expanded version of the Methodist Chinese Mission (the 1947 building is much larger but the windows and steps facing Fisgard seem to match up):



picture from http://www.bcarchive..._74/c_05465.txt

#39 aastra

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:14 PM

I had no idea that the Colonist's building was still there at Broad and View as late as 1947.





picture from http://www.bcarchive...108/b_07545.txt

***

Edit: I also didn't realize that the old wing of the hotel on Johnson between Broad and Douglas has a 7th floor.

#40 Bingo

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

Thanks MarkP

Where the "S" curve is west of the bridge, quite a bit of the harbour has been filled in where the coal wharf was.

There is a tent factory where Centennial Square is now. You can see the sign of the Westholme Hotel on Government Street, which later was a house of ill repute.

The former E&N station is under construction on Store Street, with the Janion having it's own rail siding.

It looks like the original wooden grandstand at Athletic Park. In the distance straight back from Athletic Park is probably the old Willows Racetrack grandstand.

On the East side of Quadra between Johnson and Yates is the building that now houses Big O Tires, and on the Yates corner is the 7 Eleven in the building shown in the original photo.

The East side of the 1300 block of Broad Street is little changed. There is a bus stopped in front of what is now Robinson's Outdoor Store.

The McQuades Ship Chandlers sign is on the roof of the Chandlers Seafood Resaurant building, on Wharf Street.

The Fairfield Hotel is still at the corner of Cormoront and Douglas, and the roof sign is visible in the other old photo of Victoria.


http://vintageairpho...com/bo-47-1455/

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