Well, let’s just cut to the chase: I didn’t feel up to writing all that much today; and by happenstance, sheer happenstance, it actually works out really quite well. Why? Because I’ve recently downloaded a photo/document scanning app on my iPhone that I’ve been just itching to test drive. And what’s more, I’ve decided to do so on a nifty collection of images I’ve been meaning to share with you for some time now.
So what’s that? Three birds, one stone? Not too shabby.
I think it was last Christmas, or possibly the one before (it’s all a blur) that Santa left me a neat little gift under the tree. Knowing my obsession for historic Island memorabilia, and because I’d been a good little boy for the most part, he saw fit surprise me with a set of vintage Phototex post card views of the province. The views are the product of Sidney Jack Hayward of Montreal, known for his employment as the official photographer for a number of organizations and businesses throughout the 1920s to 1940s. In 1919, he started up “S.J. Hayward”, which upon his death was picked up by Norman Zuker and Joseph Karpowicz, became “Hayward Studios” in 1945, was taken over by Zuker nine years later, and closed its doors for good in 1984. To be brief, anyway.
The images I’m about to share with you were published by Hayward on behalf of the Canada Railway News Company Ltd. (now Cara Operations Ltd.), the second in a series aimed at promoting rail travel throughout the country, and the sites to see “along the line” of the CNR (hence the title of this post). Because my deduction skills are next-level Holmesian – and also because I read about similar collections online – I’d hazard that they were taken sometime around 1930. And here they are, put together into a jazzy little slideshow.
I think you’ll agree that they are all amazing images in their own right; however, if I had to pick a favourite, I’d be inclined to go with that shot of Great George Street looking north, taken from the balcony of Province House. You’ve got the Capitol Theatre (now the Mack) on the right, the Bank of Nova Scotia building on the left, and the Cenotaph in the centre, three long-time, iconic mainstays of the Grafton/Great George intersection. I’m also mesmerized by the width of those sidewalks, and especially by the sizeable grass swaths separating pedestrian and automobile (once a common sight in the city, but now, unfortunately, gobbled up by on-street parking). And how about hose globular street lights? Pretty classy, and in my opinion, nicer than the ones we currently have. More than anything, though, the scene strikes a very familiar chord, and yet is clearly from a bygone era – nostalgia at it’s best!
Now, the series originally comprised ten images, and if you’ve been paying attention, you will have noticed that I’ve only shown you nine. That’s because the tenth post card is missing, admittedly something I myself only noticed during the scanning process. But I mean hey, sometimes math is hard, right?
On a final note, there will be no Film Friday post this week, so this will be us until next Wednesday. See you then!
PEI History Guy
P.S. – The app in question is PhotoScan. Powered by Google, it’s quite simple and easy to use, and when paired with the Google’s Photos app, gives you a range of handy editing options. Recommended for on-the-fly digitization.