6th Annual Trunk Sale

TrunkSaleJuly2016-smToronto. In memory of the late Larry Boccioletti, one of the three founders of the PHSC, we are hosting the sixth annual trunk sale  this July 17, 2016.

Larry started out holding the sale in his back yard shortly after the photographica-fair finished.

This year we will be using the parking area of the Trident Hall on Evans (south side) just east of Islington. Free admission and a modest contribution to the PHSC by exhibitors covers the costs. The sale is open from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.

For details and directions click on the trunk sale book mark at left or email Oscar Li at fair@phsc.ca.

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CN Tower and Robert C Lansdale in the news.

Part of a Toronto Star photograph by

Part of a Toronto Star photograph by Randy Risling

Toronto. For our June meeting we had the pleasure of hosting Robert C Lansdale’s iconic history of the building of the CN Tower in this its 40th anniversary year. It was a two hour power-point show capped off with an anniversary cake. People who built the tower and members of the PHSC joined in the celebration.

Robert’s father, a profession photographer and Ryerson graduate, is a long time member of the PHSC, editing our journal Photographic Canadiana for almost half its life, and taking official photographs of our events and speakers.

Robert’s talk is dedicated to the men who built the CN Tower. It is posted here at http://www.pastandfuturehistory.com/default.php with thumbnails of each slide, and here on Flickr.

Robert junior’s efforts can be read and seen here in the Toronto Star, by columnist Shawn Micallef, a tribute to Graham Bezant in the Toronto Guardian,  an article by Nick Westall in the Toronto Sun, plus Mike Filey’s Toronto Sun column (Mike was at the PHSC presentation).

Googling “CN Tower 40th Lansdale” will bring up a wealth of articles and photographs. Have a look and see why the CN Tower is truly exceptional, and a massive engineering feat!

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Portrait of an artist dying intestate

Photograph by Vivian Maier Courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Photograph by Vivian Maier – courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery

Toronto. Stephen Bulger of the Stephen Bulger Gallery is presenting an exhibition of some 40 Vivian Maier photographs. What is unusual is that the exhibition is free but no photographs will be sold in spite of the prints being made from negatives owned by the Gallery. There is good reason for this – copyright issues. Who is her heir?

Initially it was thought Maier who died intestate had no living relatives. Investigations by genealogists have turned up some potential names. Meantime, one original buyer of a large collection elected to sell his Maier negatives to the Gallery.

Maier was an amateur photographer whose images of New York and Chicago street scenes have prompted interest around the world. James Adams of the Globe and Mail wrote an intriguing article in the Globe’s Arts section this past Saturday. You can learn more by reading the article here.

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Waddingtons On Line Auction

Waddingtons Lot 294, Leica IIIf, five lenses and leather case, plus.

Waddingtons Lot 294, Leica IIIf, five lenses and leather case, plus.

Toronto. My thanks to Ashley Cook for noting this Canadian on line auction by Waddingtons. The cameras she mentioned are mid way in the lots.

Set the number of lots per page to 100 and scroll down close to the bottom of page 1. The prices are in C$ and seem reasonable/low to me – a bidding strategy?

Click on the icon at left to see a larger view of lot 294 on the Waddingtons site or click on the above link to the site to see the full number of lots. Auction will be held June 27-30 so look soon if you plan to bid.

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Wiggle GIF Stereos

xdx-smToronto. Photographic Canadiana editor Bob Lansdale sent me this “wiggle 3D” image with a c1880s view from the top of King St in Saint John, NB.

The image was shared in the Canadian Photographic History group on Facebook by Jim Murray. Note that our own Louise Freyburger moderates the group and is a frequent contributor too!

Click on the image at left  to see a larger view and the “wiggle 3D” in action!. Visit the CPH Facebook page to see even more “wiggle 3D” images posted by Mr Murray.

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The end of an era

macOS-SierraToronto. In late summer 2007, I bought into the Apple iMac mystery with OS X 10.4 (Tiger). Before then, I had moved from the dying Amiga to Windows 95.

I began using Windows with 3.11 for work groups. After the very capable multitasking Amiga, Windows 3.11 and 95 were simply terrible. After Windows 98 came Windows ME. I thought Windows ME would solve my lack of updates to Windows 98, but ME refused to load without forcing me to reformat my drive and re-installing everything on it – files, applications, updates to applications, etc. Literally hours and hours of work because Microsoft Windows ME refused to install correctly over Windows 98 for me.

That and the incessant slowing of each computer I bought and the need for system slowing anti-virus software drove me in disgust to search for a different system.

I moved to Apple, that summer and never looked back. I updated the OS X each time a new release was announced. Finally my iMac, now almost nine years old, began to show signs of its age. Under the current version of OS X called El Capitan, my system is slower to open files and applications but still usable. This past Monday, Apple announced that OS X would be called macOS when its new iteration Sierra is released this fall. Continue reading

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PHSC Estate Auction, held Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Auction This Coming Sunday!

Auction This Coming Sunday!

Toronto. We are now up to 174 lots including some darkroom gear and even microscopes!

When the auction begins this Sunday, these and lots as yet not photographed will go under the hammer.

Everyone is invited! Go here to see details and pictures of many of the lots!

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PHSC Newsletter 16-2

PHSC_E_Mail_V_16_2-6-smToronto. Another nifty newsletter opus by editor David Bridge. Two big events this month – Robert C Lansdale’s illustrated talk on the construction 40 years ago of the CN Tower, and our Estate Auction sale – are covered.

My report on Lorne Shields’s 3D talk on the Velocipede and early bicycles gives a hint of what was missed if you didn’t join us for this evening in the big smoke.

A photo essay covers the  excitement of our spring photographica-fair last month. And Louise Freyburger produces her always interesting column on new photo links with live links you can use directly from the pdf file!

This month’s paper wraps up with a notice about Ron Greene’s book winning the BC reward; and the usual lists of What’s On (including Willy Nassau’s photo history show in Waterloo), Help Wanted, and Wanted. Just click here or the image of the girl with the cameras to read or print this issue.

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Technology may revolutionize lens design

lead_sem-image-of-meta-lens_scale-bar-2-micron-meter-800x533-smToronto.  Camera lenses were initially made with regular flint and crown glass used in various combinations of elements. In the 1870s at Zeiss, Ernst Abbe, did mathematical lens calculations requiring non existent types of glass. Meeting with Otto Schott was a revelation for Abbe. Schott was willing to experiment with small batches of glass to try and create the glass Abbe needed for his formulae to work. A few years later the two were successful in creating glass that made apochromatic lenses for microscopes practical.

Today, Russ Forfar sent me a note from a blog he receives called Physics Today. This brief article notes research into special materials that potentially allow lenses to be made thinner and lighter than traditional glass lenses. This discovery was reported in New Scientist. Perhaps we will soon have another milestone event like the collaboration of Abbe and Schott! It is telling that Physics Today explains the lens design could affect telescopes, microscopes and cell phone cameras…


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Came for the history, stayed for the cameras

Century old Camera Lucida taken with a modern Apple iPod Touch

Century old Camera Lucida taken with a modern Apple iPod Touch. f/2.4, 1/25 second, 3.3mm lens. Hand held and a bit blurry from the photographer’s age.

Toronto. Our organization is often thought of as an History society – which it is. But it is a modern, up-to-date photographic organization as well. Many of its members and executive are professional photographers, both retired and active.

While we call ourselves PHSC or “The Photographic Historical Society of Canada”, our journal is called “Photographic Canadiana” and emphasizes Canadian photographers and images. Our speakers at the monthly meetings in Toronto have spanned the gamut from the very earliest of processes, the 1839 Daguerreotype and Calotype right up to the very latest of digital technology and cameras – after all, today’s modern technology is tomorrow’s history!

In the 1970s, many camera collecting organizations were founded and a wealth of photography oriented books were published. Like our society, many organizations added the word History to their name although the majority of their members at the time seemed to be camera collectors and users. Continue reading

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