Subseries SS01 - Assorted photographs of Colony Farm (Glass Negatives)

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Assorted photographs of Colony Farm (Glass Negatives)

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  • Graphic material

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  • [ca. 1912] - [192-] (Creation)
    Moore, William John

Physical description area

Physical description

113 photographs : b&w glass negatives ; 12.5 x 17.5 cm
37 photographs : b&w glass negatives ; 20 x 25 cm
8 photographs : b&w glass negatives ; 16.5 x 20.5 cm
4 photographs : b&w ; silver DOP print ; 20 x 25 cm
1 photograph : b&w glass negative ; 9 x 10 cm
5 photographs : b&w nitrate negative ; 12.5 x 17.5 cm

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Name of creator

Biographical history

W. J. Moore was born in 1887 in Bryson, Quebec, one of eleven children of James and Elizabeth Moore. The family moved to De Winton, Alberta when Moore was in his early teens. By 1911 he had found work with commercial photographer Byron Harmon in Banff, Alberta. Harmon married Moore’s older sister Maude in 1907 and it is quite possible that Moore received his early photographic training from him.

Moore, his parents and several brothers and sisters settled in South Vancouver and Burnaby in 1912. Vancouver was then in the midst of an economic boom, but in 1913 it became a depression. Moore established a commercial photographic studio out of his home, first at East 21st Avenue and later on Sophia Street.

He bought a Kodak No. 8 Cirkut Outfit in 1913 and incorporated panoramic photographs as a specialty within his business, producing most of his work with this format in the first fifteen years of his career. After 1928, his use of this format was sporadic and production was solely by commission.

Moore worked on his own until mid-1915, when he formed a partnership with Wilfred F. McConnell, purchasing the Canadian Photo Company from O. J. Rognon and Fred P. Stevens. While in this partnership, Moore signed panoramic negatives under both his own name and the Canadian Photo Co. The partnership was dissolved in 1921, with Mr. McConnell operating his photographic business under the Canadian Photo Co. name until 1933.

In 1921, at the beginning of a decade of economic regeneration in Vancouver, Moore established his commercial studio out of the Winch Building on Hastings Street. William Read was hired as an assistant and worked with him for over thirty years, eventually purchasing the business in 1953 when Moore retired. He died in 1963.

Custodial history

The entire "W.J. Moore Collection of Negatives" was purchased by the Coquitlam Heritage Society in 2003 from Brian Wilson, who found the negatives at a garage sale near Summerland, BC. The Coquitlam Heritage Society donated a portion of the collection that related to Riverview Hospital and Colony Farm to the Riverview Hospital Historical Society in 2009. The glass negatives were housed on site at Riverview Hospital in the museum operated by the Riverview Hospital Historical Society until the museum closed in 2012. From that point until the point of transfer to the Archives, the negatives and prints were stored at the home of Anna Tremere.

Scope and content

The subseries consists of photographs thought to have been taken by W.J.Moore although it is possible they were taken by another photographer. The assumption of provenance has been assumed based on the context in which the negatives were found. It has not been possible to confirm. The photographs depict the buildings, livestock, farm workers (likely Essondale patients), and employees of Colony Farm and Essondale (Riverview Hospital). The subjects consist primarily of cows and horses, as Colony Farm was known across the province for the quality of its livestock. It was awarded a master breeder shield in 1930 from the British Columbia Branch of Holstein Canada. Many of the agricultural photographs also show Essondale's West Lawn building at various points in its construction.

Notes area

Physical condition

Several negatives are damaged to varying degrees. Damage ranges from small sections of flaking emulsion on the plate, to large sections of the plates that are broken. See individual descriptions for information about the condition of specific negatives.

Immediate source of acquisition

Riverview Hospital Historical Society


The negatives in Subseries 01 were organized by the Coquitlam Heritage Society (CHS) when they were received in 2009. CHS imposed a numbering system that was maintained by the Riverview Hospital Historical Society and has been maintained in this current arrangement. The negatives in Subseries 02 and 03 were arranged by the City of Coquitlam Archives according to the original order in which they were transferred from the Riverview Hospital Historical Society.

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      Access is restricted to prints to safeguard the glass negatives. Consult copy prints or digital scans.

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      Public Domain

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