Eaton and Photographers

Funeral of Sir John Craig Eaton, Toronto, 1922

Funeral of Sir John Craig Eaton, Toronto, 1922 – Wm James

Toronto. My friend George Dunbar dropped me a note a few days ago regarding a photograph taken by William James back in 1922 at a funeral on St Clair Avenue West in Toronto (fonds 1244, item 1020)  courtesy of the City of Toronto Archives.

Canadians of a certain age remember the famous Eaton’s – Simpson’s competition. The two firms once had large department stores at Yonge St in Toronto on either side of Queen. Both companies published thick – really thick – catalogues each year. Growing up just north of Toronto, I can recall the excitement of going through the catalogues near Christmas time to see what “Santa” would bring. The blog site “Toronto Then and Now” has a wonderful article on Eaton’s. Continue reading

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Analog to Digital

Toronto Island Horses Summer 1978

Toronto Island Horses – Summer 1978 (cropped)

Toronto. It is popular today to describe the old silver-based chemical processes we grew up with as “analog”. Photographer Tony Pickard in the fall 2016 issue of PhotoEd magazine wrote an article on converting and storing old analog photo materials as digital files. His article covers a professional work flow converting 35mm or larger negatives (B&W and colour) to digital files.

Why bother, you may ask? Well, digital processing and printing is much faster than the old cut and try darkroom methods of yesteryear plus the digital files are capable of using key wording so images can be found with a fast computer search. Continue reading

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Archives and the Internet

Available on

Available on

Toronto. Last Wednesday, Mike Smith was our speaker and gave a postcard perspective on Goderich photographer Reuben R Sallows who was active in the late 1800s – early 1900s. Mike and co-author Larry Monring are writing a book on Sallows and postcards due out next month.

In the course of his talk, he mentioned the difficulty he had verifying Sallows’s work on postcards. One source of magazines he singled out was a site called This site has a wealth of books and videos on a wide variety of subjects from an equally diverse number of libraries.

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Canada and the Great War 1916

Canada and the Great War 1916

Canada and the Great War 1916

Toronto. Lampton House in the west end of Toronto is hosting a talk by John Beram called “Canada and the Great War 1916” on November 10, 2016 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm.

My thanks to Ms Joy Cohnstaedt of the Heritage York group.

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Fort York

Fort York Bock House rebuilt 1813

Fort York Bock House rebuilt 1813

Toronto. Fort York predates Toronto. Burnt in the beginning of the war of 1812, it was rebuilt the following year (1813). Today, the fort, relocated just north of Lakeshore just east of the CNE grounds, is a popular tourist destination.

My friend George Dunbar sent me a note suggesting the Fort York newsletter (The Fife and Drum) might be of interest to members. Have a read of their recent newsletter and learn some history of our city and country.

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Rescued Film Project Redux

Rescued Film Project - Redux

Rescued Film Project – Redux

Toronto. My friend Russ Forfar sent me this follow up to the Rescued Film Project post.

Interesting videos and a purpose to rescuing anonymous photographs is explained in this short article posted by Al Jazeera.

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Spring? I Shutter at the Thought :-)

Samples from Vit Ressorts (saw springs)

Samples from Vit Ressorts
(Saw Springs)

Toronto. Friend and PHSC member Russ Forfar passed along this note from Karim Amrani. Perhaps you can find such a service in Canada. The value will depend on the cost vs. the camera and shutter.

“I’ve had broken springs in a British 3×4 SLR, you know, the springs inside the curtain rollers. I was a bit desperate as I could not imagine I would find a source for these.

“I did ! A company here (in France) can make custom springs for a reasonable fee. The company is vit’ressorts. I only needed a couple of springs, so they were 35€ a piece (which is reasonable when you have no other option).

“I thought that maybe some of you would be interested in hearing this… “

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Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

Futuristic iPhone

Futuristic iPhone

Toronto. You may think this topic is a bit odd for the PHSC, but consider stereographs. They were a form of AR/VR well over a century ago! And think of our recent road trip down to Ryerson University’s DME Lab where we saw a sandbox with its own projected topographical lines changed in real time, 3D printers, and a headset that let one create in 3D in the air while his/her creations were displayed in 2D on monitors.

Our Programme Chairman, Les Jones, sent me a note last Friday that links to Seeking Alpha, an investment site featuring stock market insights. On that site columnist Ravi Thakker writes about “Apple’s Latest Futuristic Technology” – yep, its a way to view AR/VR on a future iPhone! (I noticed Apple’s prime smartphone competitor, Samsung, placed a video ad on the column…)

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Daguerreian Society Auction Catalogue Up

Tintype - Photographer with his camera.

Tintype – Photographer with his camera.

Toronto. The Daguerreian Society sent me a note the other morning that it had its October 22nd 2016 Auction catalogue on line. Click here  and see what suits your growing collection of images and equipment.

There is a live auctioneer available to take your online bid according to the newsletter they sent out.

Check it out!


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PHSC News 16-5

Headless Victorian

Headless Victorian

Toronto. Editor David Bridge in conjunction with Sonja Pushchak and John Morden have come up with a second issue of the sparkling new version of our newsletter.

The lead article covers a favourite Victorian pastime  – natural magic through photography… Page two covers the presentation next week by Mike Smith about well known postcard photographer Reuben Sallows.

There is an equipment review of the 1897 Kodak Bulls-Eye camera I donated to the PHSC and sold at a recent PHSC  auction.

Our road trip to Ryerson is covered as is today’s Camera Fair hosted at the Trident Hall by the PHSC.

These pages are followed by Image Finds, Web links (compiled as usual by Louise Freyburger), PHSC Talks and events, Ask Vicky (a new favourite column),Current Exhibits   (AIMIA and Contemporary Photography at the AGO), A poster on our Wednesday evening talk, and lastly The Classified (ads by and of interest to members). Enjoy!

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