Sculpted souvenir plate of Vancouver, undated, signed “S:C” just above the BC. Initially carved in wood, this item is made from faux wood known as “Syroco”, a term applied to a molded material resembling carved wood. This process was invented and first implemented by the Syracuse Ornamental Company. Via Syracuse University:
Founded in Syracuse, New York in 1890 by immigrant Adolph Holstein, the Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) specialized in decorative wood carving, especially for the local residential market. Products included fireplace mantelpieces and other types of interior decoration popular in late Victorian homes. To meet increasing market demand and sales opportunities Holstein developed a material looked and felt like wood but that which could be shaped, allowing multiple pieces to be produced through a molding process. The new product, which combined wood pulp brought from the Adirondacks with flour as a binder and other materials to give it strength, was extruded and then cut to fit compression molds, which had were made from original carvings in real wood…
In 1965 the company was bought by Rexall Drug and Chemical Company (which soon changed its name to Dart Industries). Dart owned Tupperware, from which Syroco gained more knowledge of injection molding. Syroco was purchased by the Syratech Corporation of Boston in 1986 which expanded its patio furniture production. In 1995 Syratech sold Syroco to Marley PLC of Sevenoaks, England, and in 2004 Syroco was purchased by Vassallo Industries of Puerto Rico which closed the plant in 2007…
In addition to showing the Bloedel Conservatory, the Gastown Clock, a Kwakiutl Totem Pole, Lions Gate Bridge, and a BC Ferry, it also features the Royal Hudson steam locomotive. From wikipedia:
The locomotive was restored by Robert E. Swanson’s Railway Appliance Research Ltd. team and the staff of the CPR Drake Street roundhouse shops beginning on 25 November 1973 and then operated by the British Columbia Department of Travel Industry with the cooperation of the British Columbia Railway. The BCR commenced a Royal Hudson excursion service between North Vancouver and Squamish on 20 June 1974. By the end of the 1974 tourist season, 47,295 passengers had been carried and the excursion was deemed successful. It was the only regularly scheduled steam excursion over mainline trackage in North America. The excursion operated between May and October, from Wednesday through Saturday. It also traveled North America in the late 1970s as a promotion for BC tourism. It quickly became one of British Columbia’s main tourist attractions and an icon of Canadian steam power.
The buildings in the city skyline probably give us the best clues when this souvenir plate was created. The three tallest buildings appear to be depicting the Royal Bank Tower (1973), the TD Tower (1972), and the Scotia Tower (1977). By lining up the Hotel Vancouver with the towers and zooming out in Google Earth, it would appear this view was taken from one of the higher floors in the Frank Stanzl Building (1974) on Broadway, a brutalist building designed by Vladimir Plavsic. As an aside, Lindsay Brown’s post on the Stanzl Building is highly recommended.
After all this, I still can’t be certain when this thing was made, but it was probably some time post-1977; possibly even post-1986 if the S:C stands for Syratech Corporation. Who knew you could learn all this from an old souvenir!