Series MS-3108 - Photographs

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  • graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series

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  • [ca. 1900-1978] (Creation)

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ca. 700 photographs

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Custodial history

Most of the photographs were continually in the custody of the British Columbia Cement Company and were deposited with the Modern History Division of the Provincial Museum in 1983. At a later date, (March 27, 1985?) 43 photographs, mainly relating to B.C. Cement Co. operations at Bamberton, were deposited with the Modern History Division of the Provincial Museum. They had been taken by Mr. H. Kidd, a company employee, were passed to Mrs. H. Kidd, to company employee Rod C. Muirhead, and from Mr. Muirhead to the museum. At the time of processing of the records at BC Archives in 2013-2014, it was not possible to identify the 43 photographs that had been in the custody of the Kidd family and Mr. Muirhead.

Scope and content

The series consists primarily of photographs relating to the Bamberton cement plant operations; secondarily, there are photographs relating to operations at Tod Inlet and Texada Island. They concern the earliest development of those sites, plant and quarry operations, workers, and village scenes.

Note that photographs form part of many files throughout the fonds (notably, there are approximately 600 photographs in series MS-3104). However, in this series, many photos were taken by professionals, and it appears they were created and maintained by company staff in order to document the history of the company.

The series includes a photograph album which the creator called “British Columbia Cement Company Limited -- Historical Photographs.” The date of creation is unknown. Subjects include, for Tod Inlet (1905 to 1913), the arrival of machinery, plant activities, and workers. For Bamberton (1912-1952) subjects include: early excavation, arrival of machinery, workers, pit and quarry operations, early development of Bamberton village houses and reservoirs, machine shops, kiln erection, substation, crusher house, wet mill, dry mill, cement storage, tanks and oil dock, waterfront and ships, cranes, fluming, coal elevator, packing floor, kilns and kiln motors, pallet loading, and new construction projects in 1951-1952. For Blubber Bay, Texada Island (1929-1949) subjects include: village construction, equipment, quarry activity, dock construction, workers, loading facilities and buildings, and rock handling and storage. The album is oversized, measuring 61 x 51 cm, with a total of 46 pages, with 360 black and white photographs of different sizes. There are 95 large prints (approximately 24x20 cm); 105 medium-sized prints (about 14x8 cm to 14x18 cm); and 160 small prints (5x7 cm to 6x8 cm).

The series also consists of photographs, particularly of Bamberton, dating from 1912 to the 1970s, which were not mounted in the photograph album. These include photographs of H.K.G. (Henry) Bamber and of the early development of the Bamberton plant, quarry and village, photographed by Fleming Brothers of Victoria. Later Bamberton plant operations and workers were photographed by professional photographers including Bill Halkett and Edward N. Pryor.

The series includes photographs relating to the cement industry in other locations in the province. It is probable some photographs were collected by long-time company employee Robert H. (Bob) Moffatt during his research for his history of the company (see series MS-3109). Some of the photographs were collected from sources such as the City of Vancouver Archives. There are photographs (of unknown origin, possibly ca. 1970) of the cement plant ruins at Princeton, B.C.

The file “Quarry photographs,” with six photographs, may relate to the reclamation of the quarry at Tod Inlet, B.C., which became the location of the Butchart Gardens. The file “Breakwater photographs” may relate to the Ogden Point breakwater in Victoria, B.C.

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General note

Accession number(s): 2013.166.1

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Physical storage

  • Box: 907976-0651
  • Map cabinet: 907976-0870