Category Archives: history

a century ago

Toronto. A century ago the Great War in Europe was winding down. Many of my ancestors and those of my wife actively participated in the war. I can remember asking my grandfather Kelsey why he joined since he had a … Continue reading

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when home movies were analogue

Toronto. Before fancy digital cameras and smartphones became common place, photography needed film. To address the blossoming interest in home movies (and to sell the special movie film) camera companies offered special movie cameras that accepted the tiny reels of 16mm … Continue reading

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rapid rectilinear lens design

Toronto.After the announcement of photography early in 1839, there was a flurry of competing lens designs across Europe, each design trying to better the resolution and error correction qualities of the other. In 1866, two Germans, one an immigrant to … Continue reading

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brush and comb

Toronto. Christmas, 1980 was rapidly approaching with its usual challenges as to suitable gifts. I said to my wife that I had a great suggestion: a 20 inch lens for my Leica. Sure enough that Christmas I was the proud … Continue reading

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April 17, 1996

Toronto. The late 1980s were a busy time. Film was still king. Personal computers and bulletin boards were all the rage with techies. A telephone call to another country was very expensive. Few had heard of the internet or emails, or … Continue reading

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those were the days, my friend …

Toronto. we thought they would never end … The song brings back memories … The smell of developer, of short stop, of fixer. Days when every shot counted. Huge studio cameras produced material for print advertisements in newspapers and magazines of … Continue reading

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Ryerson’s Library and Archives collection

Toronto. When you decide to do research on our rich photographic history, remember the resources we have in our university archives. A great example is the fabulous collection housed and inventoried by Ryerson. Member George Dunbar sent an email recently … Continue reading

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Charlie and the Essanay movie studio in Chicago.

Toronto. The year was 1915. A young actor called Charlie Chaplin spend a few months in the windy city. While there, he recorded a silent movie at the famous Chicago studio named Essanay for its two founders. Thanks to the … Continue reading

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the times they are a-changin’

Toronto. The Bob Dylan song “The Times They Are a-Changin’” appeared in the mid 1960s on the same named album.  And looking at photography and the dynamic shift from film to digital is so appropriate to Dylan’s song. George Dunbar … Continue reading

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camera brochures

Toronto. Camera makers offered many, many brochures to explain the virtues of their products to the common man. I have a few these days, mostly published by Ihagee, Leitz, Hasselblad (or their importers and distributors), or Kodak. These brochures give … Continue reading

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