Canadian Boys' Clothes: Photography


Figure 1.--Here we see a Canadian tin-type portrait with its paper frame. We are not sure how to date it, perhapd the 1890s. The studio was Climo's American Gallery in St John, New Brunswick. I'm not sure what was meant by "American Gallery".

Photography was invented in Europe and quickly made its way across the North Atlantic. The industry as in America developed very rapidly in Canada. At this time we do not know if photography developed any differently in Canada than in other countries. Canada is a fairly small country, at least in terms of population. We do not know of any major technical developmens achieved in Canada. Nor do we know much about the development of the industry in the 19th century. This topic is of interest to HBC because often formats, cases, cards, and frames can help date images. We have begun to work on this tgopic in the main photographic secfion of HBC, but at this tome have very little country-specific information on Canada.

Technology

Photography was invented in Europe and quickly made its way across the North Atlantic. Canada is a fairly small country, at least in terms of population. We do not know of any major technical developmens achieved in Canada.

Chronology

The photographic industry developed very rapidly in Canada, but not as rapidly as in the United States. We not know much about the development of the industry in the 19th century. We do not notice the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and other early formats in Canada as we do in America. At this time we are unsure if this is just because we have only a small Canadian archive or if the industry was not well developed in the 1840s and 50s. We believe it related to the legal system in Canada which at the time basically followed English law. Copyright law prevented Daguerreotype pghotograph from developing rapidly in England and we believe the same occurred in Canada. This is probably why there are relatively few Canadian daguerreotypes. With the appearance of negative formats (CDVs and cabinent cards) in the 1860s we see photography developing along the same lines as the United States, We also note similarities in mounts and frames. This topic is of interest to HBC because often formats, cases, cards, and frames can help date images. We have begun to work on this tgopic in the main photographic section of HBC, but at this time have very little country-specific information on Canada. We believe that the information developed for the United States can be used to date Canadian photograohs. Canada emerged in the 20th century as first a Dominion and then an independent country within the British Commonwealth. The economy gradually shifted from trade with Britain to an economy very closely toed to the Americzn rconomy. You can see that reflected in both clothing styles and in photographic mounts and frames.

Types

We notice the same types of photographic potraits in Canada as we do in other countries, especially America and Britain. At first the photographic industry primarily followed British trends. As a result, we have found very few of the early portrait tpes (Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes) that we see in America. We assume this is because British copyright law prevented the expolsive growth of the industry like what occurred in the United States. We do begin to see large number of CDVs in the 1860s. Cabinet cards also appeared, but do not seem to have been as common as in America. This is, however, just a preliminary assessment. Our archive of Canadian 19th century portraits is still very limited. This may reflect the fact that Canada hs a much smaller population and thus a smaller pgotographic record. By the turn of the 20th century, Canadian photographic trends seem very similar to American trends with mattes and paper frames as well as post cards similar to those in America.

Studios

The tintype here was tken at Climo's American Gallery in St John, New Brunswick. I'm not sure what was meant by "American Gallery". St. John's was asmall town. We are guessing that they saw New York as the large metroplis with every thing modern, hence "American studio" conveyed modernity and high quality. What is interesting is that people in St. John's would look to America rather than the larger Canadian cities. Perhaps there was more commerce with America than Canada at the time. Maybe our Canadian readers will know more about this.

Photographers

We also hope to develop some information on Canadian photographers.









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Created: 4:39 AM 1/2/2007
Last updated: 5:47 PM 11/22/2016