Very cute 1936 Golden Jubilee teacup. Currently for sale on ebay (which ironically, does not ship to Canada!):

One Aynsley Bone China Tea Cup made in England. It shows a beautiful panorama of Vancouver in 1886 (trees and a few homes made of logs) to a panorama of Vancouver in 1936 (a vast metropolis). It is very light. Delicate almost in its transparency. I have had this cup in my collection for years. Signed “Photo Arts Ltd.”

Looking for one of these locally? Try the traveling flea market circuit here!

Letterhead from The Vancouver Breweries Ltd; comprised of the Red Cross Brewery at left, and the Doering and Marstrand Brewery at right, from a letter dated 1906. Thanks, Robert!

This line of Vancouver Breweries can be traced back to some of the earliest names in brewing in our city. The City Brewery appeared in Vancouver around 1887, according to Beer Barons of BC by Bill Wilson and Brewed in Canada by Allan Winn Sneath. House of Suds mentions the year 1882, but I believe that to be an error. Actually, the City Brewery’s origins could be traced back as early as 1879, if there is any connection between the City Brewery on Cunningham Street in New Westminster (I’m not certain if there is).

A somewhat mysterious J.A. Rekab or Rekabe is the first man noted operating Vancouver’s City Brewery on Seaton Street near the CPR wharf. He’s mysterious in that he’s only listed for that first year (John Williams takes over the following year) and I have no idea where he’s from. Personally I wonder if his name is an abbreviation or Anglicized version of the surname Al-Rekabe.

I doubt we can call him the first brewer in town though (on second thought, maybe we can); by 1888 he’s listed in the same phone book alongside at least two other brewers, Robert Reisterer and Charles Doering. Reisterer’s first brewery was called Mainland Brewery, located near Brewery Creek, and Doering’s first choice of names was the Vancouver Brewery (which changed to Doering & Marstrand’s Brewing in 1892).

City Brewery would become Red Cross Brewery around 1890, and after changing hands a few times, and Williams, Doering, and Marstrand would ultimately merge to form the first company named Vancouver Breweries Limited in the year 1900. Most of this info comes from Beer Barons of BC by Bill Wilson, for those who want further plot twists and turns.

Someone wrote to me today asking:

I have two beer bottles from Vancouver Breweries each with a paper label for ‘Queen Beer’. The bottles themselves still have the original corks pushed down inside. one is a very pale green, almost clear, the other is ‘beer bottle brown’. Their shape is similar to a modern wine bottle. The paper labels are identical. Can you offer any insight into their age? Are there folks who collect these?
Ah yes, Queen Beer, a most colonial name choice for a beer! Given the brand comes from Vancouver Breweries Ltd. (plural), we can date this to be some time around 1900 or thereafter, and I would guess within the first 10 years. I can ask the local bottle club for more details - they are a combined wealth of knowledge! And indeed, early bottles can be very collectible, especially with their labels!
Feel free to send me photos or more information about such things; I’m always interested to learn more, and I believe things like this ought to be more carefully cataloged. Thanks also to the recent follower who contacted me with a UDL bottle; I always appreciate such gifts! I should also note I’m working on a chapter for an upcoming book featuring some of Vancouver’s lost prohibition era beer history; there are a number of super discoveries, and I’m very excited about the project! Stay tuned for more in the months to follow!
The End of the Seventies by Michael Kluckner, a full page editorial cartoon from the December 29, 1979 issue of the Vancouver Sun. Michael reminisces about his early cartooning career here on his site. About the cartoon, Michael writes: 

The managing editor bought the original (I wonder if it still exists?) which was a large, about 20 x 30 inch, pen and ink drawing on illustration board. So many faces and events: (from the top including) Vietnamese boat people, Jane Fonda, Kent State, starving Indians, Bill Vanderzalm, Pat McGeer, Dave Barrett, Bill Bennett, the Bee Gees, John Travolta, Rod Stewart, Henry Kissinger, Nixon and Watergate, Gerald Ford, Tom Campbell, Rene Levesque, Pierre Trudeau, the FLQ, Peter Lougheed on the big car (“Let the Bastards Freeze in the Dark”), the oil crisis, Joe Clark, Jimmy Carter, the Jonestown mass suicide, Edward Kennedy, Jerry Brown, Jackie Onassis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Margaret Trudeau (& Mick Jagger – should’ve drawn Ronny Wood), John Diefenbaker as Brutus, Robert Stanfield, David Lewis, Jean Drapeau and Robert Bourassa and the Montreal Olympics, Jean Chrétien, Ian Smith of Rhodesia, Willy Brandt and Brezhnev the Russian premier …. and “Jaws.” The Air Otto reference was for Liberal cabinet minister Otto Lang, one of the pigs at the trough of that era. The only glitch was the blank banner at the bottom, which was supposed to read “How Soon Could We Forget?” in red ink, but it got stripped out of the black plate and not put into the red one by the Sun production crew. Oh well….

Though Michael ultimately never pursued the path of the newspaper cartoonist, we’re grateful for the many contributions he has made to the community since these early days. Heritage advocacy, a lifetime of fine art, and writing and illustrating some 15 books - all of these amount to no small feat! Thanks, Michael!

The End of the Seventies by Michael Kluckner, a full page editorial cartoon from the December 29, 1979 issue of the Vancouver Sun. Michael reminisces about his early cartooning career here on his site. About the cartoon, Michael writes: 

The managing editor bought the original (I wonder if it still exists?) which was a large, about 20 x 30 inch, pen and ink drawing on illustration board. So many faces and events: (from the top including) Vietnamese boat people, Jane Fonda, Kent State, starving Indians, Bill Vanderzalm, Pat McGeer, Dave Barrett, Bill Bennett, the Bee Gees, John Travolta, Rod Stewart, Henry Kissinger, Nixon and Watergate, Gerald Ford, Tom Campbell, Rene Levesque, Pierre Trudeau, the FLQ, Peter Lougheed on the big car (“Let the Bastards Freeze in the Dark”), the oil crisis, Joe Clark, Jimmy Carter, the Jonestown mass suicide, Edward Kennedy, Jerry Brown, Jackie Onassis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Margaret Trudeau (& Mick Jagger – should’ve drawn Ronny Wood), John Diefenbaker as Brutus, Robert Stanfield, David Lewis, Jean Drapeau and Robert Bourassa and the Montreal Olympics, Jean Chrétien, Ian Smith of Rhodesia, Willy Brandt and Brezhnev the Russian premier …. and “Jaws.” The Air Otto reference was for Liberal cabinet minister Otto Lang, one of the pigs at the trough of that era. The only glitch was the blank banner at the bottom, which was supposed to read “How Soon Could We Forget?” in red ink, but it got stripped out of the black plate and not put into the red one by the Sun production crew. Oh well….

Though Michael ultimately never pursued the path of the newspaper cartoonist, we’re grateful for the many contributions he has made to the community since these early days. Heritage advocacy, a lifetime of fine art, and writing and illustrating some 15 books - all of these amount to no small feat! Thanks, Michael!

Renderings of Development Application for 601 West Hastings Street by B+H Architects. From the design rationale:

Of primary importance to the success of this building is the function and  appeal of the public plaza. The integration of a large public space into the base of a tower requires careful consideration of openness, animation, and interest. It becomes a focal point around which the tower evolves and responds.

To create a visually appealing and unique space the concept for the park is a carving away of the base of the tower. An undulating form is revealed in the soffit that stands in contrast to the sleek glass above and distinguishes the plaza as a public space. The corner is lifted high to allow as much light as possible to enter the plaza, and the edges of the site mediate the changes in grade to allow multiple points of access and transparency for increased safety.

The tower acknowledges and responds to its neighbours and surrounding context. The curved corner and gentle roof peak address the street corner and the primary views of the building while maintaining some of the design language of the plaza. The proximity of the neighbouring buildings is addressed with two gently curved setbacks that serve to bring additional focus to the plaza and also maintain some separation and views between the buildings.

I came across this application thanks to Heritage Vancouver, after researching the building that was on the site previously, the Empire Building. I did a then and now mockup here which I have also included above. A glass dome sits on the site currently, creating a rather curious semi-public space in the city, which may not be with us for much longer if this application is built.

I should announce that I will be featuring architectural renderings in a big way in the near future; watch for more info in following posts!

Whistler and Grouse Mountain posters, created in 1974 and submitted by the artist Lisa Salazar. I’ve featured some period artwork of Grouse Mountain before; one by Bob Masse, and another unsigned. I like how these two these two colourful contributions really capture the landscape and the excitement of the era as well.

From wikipedia:

Whistler was originally conceived as part of a bid to win the 1968 Winter Olympics, but a series of events led to the bids being withdrawn or losing to other cities. Construction of the resort started in spite of this, and the resort first opened for business in January 1966. The resort expanded extensively in the 1980s and 90s, becoming the centrepiece of a renewed bid on the part of nearby Vancouver. Vancouver/Whistler was selected as the winning bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics in July 2003. Whistler Blackcomb hosted the alpine skiing events, including the men’s and women’s Olympic and Paralympic alpine skiing disciplines of downhill, Super-G, giant slalom, super combined and slalom. The Dave Murray downhill course towards Whistler Creekside finally hosted an Olympic downhill event, 50 years after it was originally surveyed for this purpose.

Thanks for the submission, Lisa!

The Polar Bear Club by Ken Pattern, the January image in the 1985 Vancity Calendar. Given the annual tradition, this print is a fitting image for the first day of the year. The swim has been taking place since 1920; it begins at noon-2:30pm. A few tips from the City of Vancouver website:

If you have a heart problem - just watch!
Children must swim and stay with an adult 
Please leave your dog at home
Do not drink - alcohol does not warm you up - it accelerates hypothermia.
Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
Entrants in the 100 yard race - meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat - give your names to the lifeguard.
After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.

The Polar Bear Club by Ken Pattern, the January image in the 1985 Vancity Calendar. Given the annual tradition, this print is a fitting image for the first day of the year. The swim has been taking place since 1920; it begins at noon-2:30pm. A few tips from the City of Vancouver website:

  • If you have a heart problem - just watch!
  • Children must swim and stay with an adult 
  • Please leave your dog at home
  • Do not drink - alcohol does not warm you up - it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
  • Entrants in the 100 yard race - meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
  • First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat - give your names to the lifeguard.
  • After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
  • Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.
Roy Peterson’s “The End is Nigh!”, his last submitted cartoon when he was laid off at the Vancouver Sun in 2009 at age 73. It was rejected, giving him a coveted “Golden Spike Award”, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists’ award for the best rejected editorial cartoon. Roy Peterson passed away on September 29, 2013. via Remembering Roy Peterson by Shannon Clarke in The Ryerson Review of Journalism.

Roy Peterson’s “The End is Nigh!”, his last submitted cartoon when he was laid off at the Vancouver Sun in 2009 at age 73. It was rejected, giving him a coveted “Golden Spike Award”, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists’ award for the best rejected editorial cartoon. Roy Peterson passed away on September 29, 2013. via Remembering Roy Peterson by Shannon Clarke in The Ryerson Review of Journalism.

Paintings by Leef Evans. His work has been exhibited at Gallery Gachet this past year, most notably at the exhibit One Hundred Self-Portraits in One Hundred Days this fall. From his website:

I have no political agenda. I have no historical perspective. I have no social ramifications I’m seeking to address. What I do have is lots of paint and a fat brush. The fat brush and brash gobs of paint don’t permit me to fret or obsess. The fat brush doesn’t allow me to wallow in incidental detail. The fat gobs don’t permit me to remain in one place and burrow into concerns. I move on. I allow for accidents. I revel in movement. I paint accidental psalms. This is what the art does. It moves me into little fugue vortexes. The art, the paint, the brush is the only process…

Spanish Afternoon by Ken Blaschuk, 2012, mixed media (archival pigmented print - metallic leaf), somerset, 1 of 1 UP, 34x25cm, $300 posted by malaspinaprintmakers on Flickr.

Spanish Afternoon by Ken Blaschuk, 2012, mixed media (archival pigmented print - metallic leaf), somerset, 1 of 1 UP, 34x25cm, $300 posted by malaspinaprintmakers on Flickr.

Weekend Special by Ken Pattern, the December image in the 1985 Vancity Calendar. Here we have my favourite print from the series, featuring skiing atop the Hotel Vancouver # 3. Ken’s style is meticulous and well suited to the medium of stone lithography, a most demanding art form. It’s also exceedingly humorous, as his recent series on the Marina Bay Sands development in Singapore attests.

About the stone lithography process, his website gives an introduction to the process, as does the calendar: 
In this process, Ken Pattern creates the prints by first drawing an image on a flat piece of limestone. He then brushes a solution of gum arabic and nitric acid over the stone’s surface; the resulting chemical reaction secures the image onto the stone.
To print the image, Ken rolls an oil-based ink onto a rubber roller, which he then rolls onto the stone. Repeating this inking process several times, he uses a sponge between each pass of the roller to keep the stone damp. With the image fully inked, Ken places a piece of paper on the stone, cranking the paper beneath the hard pressure bar to transfer the ink from the stone.
Each colour in the image requires a separate drawing and a separate printing. After each colour is printed, Ken grinds the image off the stone with grit, and then draws the next colour on the stone. Finally, with the printing finished, Ken edits the prints. Only those meeting his standards are included in the edition, and he ten signs and numbers them.

To truly appreciate this work, you must see one of these prints in person. Start by looking at the Burnaby Art Gallery, or perhaps the Malaspina Printmakers Society where these prints were produced; they may still have one or two available! Happy Christmas everyone!
Weekend Special by Ken Pattern, the December image in the 1985 Vancity Calendar. Here we have my favourite print from the series, featuring skiing atop the Hotel Vancouver # 3. Ken’s style is meticulous and well suited to the medium of stone lithography, a most demanding art form. It’s also exceedingly humorous, as his recent series on the Marina Bay Sands development in Singapore attests.
About the stone lithography process, his website gives an introduction to the process, as does the calendar:

In this process, Ken Pattern creates the prints by first drawing an image on a flat piece of limestone. He then brushes a solution of gum arabic and nitric acid over the stone’s surface; the resulting chemical reaction secures the image onto the stone.

To print the image, Ken rolls an oil-based ink onto a rubber roller, which he then rolls onto the stone. Repeating this inking process several times, he uses a sponge between each pass of the roller to keep the stone damp. With the image fully inked, Ken places a piece of paper on the stone, cranking the paper beneath the hard pressure bar to transfer the ink from the stone.

Each colour in the image requires a separate drawing and a separate printing. After each colour is printed, Ken grinds the image off the stone with grit, and then draws the next colour on the stone. Finally, with the printing finished, Ken edits the prints. Only those meeting his standards are included in the edition, and he ten signs and numbers them.

To truly appreciate this work, you must see one of these prints in person. Start by looking at the Burnaby Art Gallery, or perhaps the Malaspina Printmakers Society where these prints were produced; they may still have one or two available! Happy Christmas everyone!
A very early postcard from Vancouver, Christmas, 1887. This card was sent with compliments from Johnston & Tyson.

May Christmas joys flow into your heart, and peace and happiness ever wait on your dear household.

via Neil Whaley at the Vancouver Postcard Club:

Shown [above] is a trade card from when the city was one year old and the population was only 2,000. The card was chromo-lithographed by Louis Prang of Boston, and overprinted with an 1887 Christmas greeting from Gastown clothiers AG Johnston and AM Tyson. 

Johnston and Tyson were located briefly at 2 Carrall Street. According to the 1888 phone book, JC Johnston also had a boot and shoe store on Cordova Street; both JC and AG Johnston were listed with Johnston and Tyson, and the two Johnston’s lived on Westminster Avenue (Main Street). By 1892, AM Tyson had moved his gent’s furnishings store to 200 Carrall Street, and AG Johnston was working as a bookkeeper for John Scuitto on Powell Street.
The deadline for Christmas delivery of lettermail overseas has already past (that was Friday, December 6, 2013); this Friday is the deadline for USA; and cards to Canada can wait as late as December 17, 18, or 19, depending on how far it has to go. But don’t delay too much longer; everyone loves getting mail at Christmas!

A very early postcard from Vancouver, Christmas, 1887. This card was sent with compliments from Johnston & Tyson.

May Christmas joys flow into your heart, and peace and happiness ever wait on your dear household.

via Neil Whaley at the Vancouver Postcard Club:

Shown [above] is a trade card from when the city was one year old and the population was only 2,000. The card was chromo-lithographed by Louis Prang of Boston, and overprinted with an 1887 Christmas greeting from Gastown clothiers AG Johnston and AM Tyson. 

Johnston and Tyson were located briefly at 2 Carrall Street. According to the 1888 phone book, JC Johnston also had a boot and shoe store on Cordova Street; both JC and AG Johnston were listed with Johnston and Tyson, and the two Johnston’s lived on Westminster Avenue (Main Street). By 1892, AM Tyson had moved his gent’s furnishings store to 200 Carrall Street, and AG Johnston was working as a bookkeeper for John Scuitto on Powell Street.

The deadline for Christmas delivery of lettermail overseas has already past (that was Friday, December 6, 2013); this Friday is the deadline for USA; and cards to Canada can wait as late as December 17, 18, or 19, depending on how far it has to go. But don’t delay too much longer; everyone loves getting mail at Christmas!

Rob Roy Meats, Toban Shoes Columbia Street New West circa 1980’s by Won Kang. 

Rob Roy Meats, Toban Shoes Columbia Street New West circa 1980’s by Won Kang

This could conceivably be Vancouver, as there was no Lions Gate Bridge in 1925. I have to admit those mountains are pretty exaggerated though. Back then, standing on Little Mountain, gazing over to North Vancouver probably seemed much further away. All a matter of perspective, I suppose. One of the reasons I think this poster succeeds is because of its unrealistic, imagined depiction of the coast. The travel agent of the day could extol the merits of the Redwood forest, the Oregon coast, the mountains of Washington, the metropolis of Seattle, and of course, you mustn’t forget Vancouver! See this artwork for a remotely similar view by Ron Jackson. 
The above poster was created by the Willmarths for the Newman-Monroe Company in Chicago. Jack R. Lundbom notes in the book Master Painter: Warner E. Sallman that Newman-Monroe Co. was a design and illustration firm, which at the time described (1909) was located in the First National Bank Building (now home to the Chase Tower Chicago). After further digging, I believe this would have been the neoclassical structure completed in 1902 by noted architect Daniel Burnham.
Here are a few more travel posters that Newman-Monroe produced, one promoting travel to California, and another to the Far West. Then there’s this majestic 1933 poster celebrating the World’s Fair in Chicago. If these posters are any indication, Newman-Monroe must have been a powerhouse, responsible for a significant amount of early transportation advertising. It makes me wonder what happened to them, and much of their legacy is actually known and remembered today.
About the Willmarths, streamlinermemories.info writes: 

I can’t find much information about the Willmarths on line except that William was a watercolorist, while Kenneth specialized in oils. William was born in 1898 and died in Arizona in 1984. While the Travel by Train posters were signed “The Willmarths,” later posters and paintings were just signed “Willmarth,” and many look like watercolors, suggesting they were done by William Willmarth.

Like the Newman-Monroe story, more research into the life work of Kenneth and William Willmarth is warranted! Fantastic work, all around! May this blog post help to solidify their contributions to the art of travel.
vintagraphblog:

Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland, circa 1925. New in Vintage Travel Posters. (via Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland | Vintagraph)

This could conceivably be Vancouver, as there was no Lions Gate Bridge in 1925. I have to admit those mountains are pretty exaggerated though. Back then, standing on Little Mountain, gazing over to North Vancouver probably seemed much further away. All a matter of perspective, I suppose. One of the reasons I think this poster succeeds is because of its unrealistic, imagined depiction of the coast. The travel agent of the day could extol the merits of the Redwood forest, the Oregon coast, the mountains of Washington, the metropolis of Seattle, and of course, you mustn’t forget Vancouver! See this artwork for a remotely similar view by Ron Jackson.

The above poster was created by the Willmarths for the Newman-Monroe Company in Chicago. Jack R. Lundbom notes in the book Master Painter: Warner E. Sallman that Newman-Monroe Co. was a design and illustration firm, which at the time described (1909) was located in the First National Bank Building (now home to the Chase Tower Chicago). After further digging, I believe this would have been the neoclassical structure completed in 1902 by noted architect Daniel Burnham.

Here are a few more travel posters that Newman-Monroe produced, one promoting travel to California, and another to the Far West. Then there’s this majestic 1933 poster celebrating the World’s Fair in Chicago. If these posters are any indication, Newman-Monroe must have been a powerhouse, responsible for a significant amount of early transportation advertising. It makes me wonder what happened to them, and much of their legacy is actually known and remembered today.

About the Willmarths, streamlinermemories.info writes:

I can’t find much information about the Willmarths on line except that William was a watercolorist, while Kenneth specialized in oils. William was born in 1898 and died in Arizona in 1984. While the Travel by Train posters were signed “The Willmarths,” later posters and paintings were just signed “Willmarth,” and many look like watercolors, suggesting they were done by William Willmarth.

Like the Newman-Monroe story, more research into the life work of Kenneth and William Willmarth is warranted! Fantastic work, all around! May this blog post help to solidify their contributions to the art of travel.

vintagraphblog:

Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland, circa 1925. New in Vintage Travel Posters. (via Visit the Pacific Northwest Wonderland | Vintagraph)

Stanley Park Christmas Train, Lost Lagoon Fountain Lights, and Carol Ships Vancouver Harbour (2010) by artist and illustrator George McLachlan.

The Stanley Park Christmas train runs December 5 through January 5, though it is closed Christmas Day. Tickets are available here at Ticketmaster with some reserved at the gates, but I would say advance tickets are a must (the time slots have a tendency to sell out very quickly). More from the City of Vancouver website:

Entrance to the Bright Nights Train Plaza is by donation (you don’t need to purchase train tickets to see the holiday lights)…Train tickets are sold in half-hour time slots. Several trains will depart within each time slot. Avoid the crowds and come out Monday to Thursday in the first two weeks…

Happy Holiday Travels!

Flight into Fall by Ken Pattern, the October image from the 1985 Vancity calendar, which I mentioned previously. This illustration depicts the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, and here it is seen with a flock of migrating umbrellas. Fall has come and nearly left us, but I figured I could squeeze this image in before the first snowfall. The bird sanctuary is one of the many great and lasting legacies that the Reifel family has given to the Vancouver region; it is a must see destination for all who live here.
Also above is an in-depth article written by Lorne Parton from the Province's Sunday pullout section dated December 9, 1984. About Lorne Parton, Chuck Davis wrote:
…After service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he joined the Province as a reporter and columnist (1952-89) until he suffered a major stroke. A sensitive writer with a broad knowledge of cars, planes, the film industry and Vancouver’s power elite, he was noted for his careful use of language. A peer of fellow journalists Jack Wasserman, Jack Webster, Allan Fotheringham and Pierre Berton, “he moved with ease among politicians and paupers.” Remembered for his rapier wit…
The article explains the premise behind Ken’s “Vancouver Patterns Suite”, the series of prints featuring 12 visual puns, riddles, and inside jokes for the true Vancouverite. There were 50,000 of these calendars produced, but few of these have likely been preserved. Fortunately, a limited edition series of stone lithographic prints survives; check the Burnaby Art Gallery, or perhaps the Malaspina Printmakers Society where these prints were produced; they may have one or two still available. Keep on the lookout! These are true classics!