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Collection of Two Albums with over 440 Original Snapshot Photographs of Gold Mining in Wells, B.C., and Berens River (ON), Views of Barkerville, Clifton, Favourable Lake (ON), Sandy Lake (ON), and others; With a Small Certificate Signed by Rodger as the Fire Chief in Wells].
1938 - Ca. 1930-1940s. Both albums Oblong Octavo (ca. 18x29,5 cm), with 50 and 27 stiff card leaves respectively. Over 440 mounted gelatin silver prints, vast majority between ca. 6,5x10,5 cm (2 ½ x 4 ¼ in) and ca. 5,5x8 cm (2x3 in); also including a large photo ca. 12,5x20 cm (4 ¾ x 8 in), and ca. 13 original postcard size photos, ca. 13,5x8 cm (5 ¼ x 3 in). A number of photos captioned or dated on the images or on the mounts. With a certificate printed on card (ca. 7x10 cm) and signed by "Jack B. Rodger" as the Fire Chief of Wells. Period black cloth albums, spines are stitched through on top and bottom with strings. A number of images removed by previous owners, a few images slightly faded, but overall a very good collection. Important private photo collection assembled by Jack B. Rodger, a gold miner and resident of Wells, B.C., the Chief of the Wells Volunteer Fire Brigade in the 1930s. The photos give a detailed illustration to the very early years of life in Wells (the town was founded in 1933 around the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine). Historically important images include over ten portraits of miners inside the Wells' mines performing different operations ¿ "drilling in a stope," "Boyles diamond drill," Rodger himself is shown inside the "Island Mountain Mine, B.C.;" there are also a panorama of the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine taken from the air, a scene of placer mining and gold extracting with a water jet, "Jim Brennan's placer mine," four images show the transportation of a large piece of mining equipment, general view of the Wells town site and photos of the Main Street, Community Hall, "my house, Wells, B.C.," a fire hose cabin in Wells, the Cariboo district mountainous scenery near Wells, et al. Numerous portraits of Rodger show him posing with his friends and family, three humorous photos show them having fun in Wells during winter. Other interesting photos show the hotel in Clinton (Cariboo district), old carriages in Ashcroft, and several views of Barkerville - St. Savior¿s Church, street views, the cemetery with a close up photo of the grave of James Lindsay. The original snapshots are supplemented with two real photo postcards of Wells and Barkerville. At the end of the first album Rodger mounted six newspaper clippings from a Wells' newspaper describing his career as at first the Assistant Fire Marshal and later as the Chief of the Fire Brigade in Wells. A large number of photos in both albums are dedicated to Rodger's subsequent work in the gold mines and industrial facilities in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Very interesting are the images taken during his work at the Berens River Gold Mine (now a ghost town) and nearby Favourable Lake and Sandy Lake. The photos show "Berens River Mine from Air," portraits of miners inside the Berens River gold mine, "moving a diamond drill [across a lake], winter 1937," Berens River power dam and lumber mill, hydro plant on the North Wind Lake, series of views apparently of the Berens River water treatment plant, small aerodrome on the Favourable Lake for water planes with a wooden cabin bearing a sign "Canadian Airways;" South Trout Lake, Rodger's houses in Berens River and Favourable Lake, a scene of an amateur dentist operation titled "Dentist, Berens," a hotel in Favourable Lake, and others. Very interesting is the series of portraits of native people from the Sandy Lake reserve gathered from the "Treaty Pay Day, 1941;" Rodger is posing on one of them with the tribe, the caption next to the image reads "Rodger and his squas." There are also images captioned "Wingold Mine", "Beresford Lake Hotel" (Manitoba), portraits of Rodgers with his fellow miners; views of the Banff Springs Hotel; Vancouver Sun Tower (World Building), Duluth town in Minnesota (Ford plant, zoo, general view) et al. Overall a very interesting first-hand visual account of gold mining in Northern B.C. and Ontario in the 1930s. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: The Wayfarer's Bookshop, ABAC/ILAB/PBFA]
Last Found On: 2015-10-11           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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