Toronto. The past program secretary, Les Jones, arranged to kick off the fall sessions with a Show and Tell meeting devoted to Canadiana in recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary. While we usually have a show and tell in December, this year we rreserved the year end talk for another speaker. The presentations were co-ordinated by our new program secretary, Yvette Bessels. This year we had a bit fewer speakers than usual (seven).
First up was editor Bob Lansdale who showed a Manitoba land grant document which he bought at a PHSC fair from Darren Dalton. The land grant certificate nicely complemented a recent article in issue 42-1 of Photographic Canadiana on the history of photographer James Penrose who spent his later years in Winnipeg.
He was followed by our webmaster, Bob Carter. Bob showed the audience two lenses made in Midland at the Ernst Leitz Canada factory. But first,he gave a brief history of the Midland factory and its world renowned optical designer, the late Walther Mandler, who created many of the legendary Leica lenses of the 1950s – 1980s. The factory still operates today, but is no longer identified as a Leica facility. Instead, it is owned by Raytheon and devotes the majority of its efforts to US military optics.
Manuel Nunes, a long time member of the PHSC and an active amateur photographer, displayed in print form his many personal photographs taken in his homeland, the Azores. Manuel is a frequent speaker at the show and tell meetings showing his own work in either photographs or ways to save money by custom building photo accessories.
PHSC secretary, Bob Wilson, is well known for books, images and stereo. Tonight he told a story about the famous Canadian portrait photographer, Karsh, and his struggle to have his magnificent photographs published in books while meeting his exacting print quality standards. Bob discovered this used copy with signatures of the recipients. His investigations led to the story of the famous Karsh devotion to quality.
Our past president and resident electrician and machinist, Ed Warner, showed three Canadian Kodak cameras assembled (made?) here in Toronto by the then world leader in the industry, George Eastman of Rochester. As Ed explained, you bought a box camera (or folder) that made a negative of the desired size since most of the photographs of that era were contact prints, not enlargements.
Another past president and our fair co-ordinator, Mark Singer, showed his copy of the Expo 1967 Ontario movie “A Place to Stand” (celebrating Canada’s 100th anniversary) once again, as requested. You may not be aware of the fact, but “A Place to Stand” was the first multi-screen show ever made. It had many carefully synchronized images both stills and short film clips. These images were projected on multiple screens while accompanied by Delores Claman’s famous song and a coordinated narrative promoting Ontari-ari-ari-o. The movie looked much less revolutionary when compressed to a 16mm film frame (I saw the original in Montreal at Expo 67). Unfortunately, while Mark used a vintage 16mm projector, he did not have a short focal length lens for it so the image of the movie was shrunk even further in size.
We wrapped up the presentations with a display by our president. Clint Hryhorijiw is a natural, gregarious speaker. Interesting and entertaining, he presented a sampling of his antique Canadian photographs. He wrapped up with a tale of his recent acquisition of a Mount Vernon, Virginia, ambrotype. The audience was informed that Mount Vernon was the family residence of George Washington, one of America’s founding fathers and the first president of the USA, making this cased photograph especially interesting.
With fewer presenters, this show and tell event was a bit smaller than in previous years. However, Mark’s introduction of a video camera helped immensely in the display of small items otherwise hard to distinguish beyond the first few rows. The evening was a good start for our new program secretary. Yvette was a competent and professional speaker in her own right. She was quite able to step up to the job on fairly short notice.