The great Vancouver blog VancouverIsAwesome posted this video of the oldest known film of Vancouver. The video plays at the Museum of Vancouver shows life on the streets of Vancouver in 1907. The film maker would die on the Titanic 5 years later!
The Vancouver of 1907 was a thriving, energetic city. The population was climbing rapidly, jumping from 27,000 in the 1901 census to the 70,000 of 1907. We can actually see the city’s vitality thanks to a man named William Harbeck who set up a film camera at the front of a BC Electric Railway streetcar and on May 7 filmed the city’s downtown streets.
This is the earliest surviving film on Vancouver. Its discovery was something of a miracle: it was found in the basement of an abandoned theatre in Sydney, Australia! It had apparently been dumped there by movie house managers along with other movies no longer wanted. Some pieces are missing, and the entire film is just five minutes long, but those five minutes are valuable.
We travel along Granville and Hastings, along Westminster Avenue (now Main Street) and Carrall, Powell, Cordova and Cambie, Robson and Davie . . . a unique look at a Vancouver of a century ago.
Love that old Cascade Beer billboard…. “a beer without peer!”
History totally rules!