Fonds PR 12 - Chambers, Todd family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Chambers, Todd family fonds

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  • [ca.1880-1930] (Creation)
    Chambers (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 500 photographs;1 cm of textual records;1 map

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Arthur Hyde Chambers was born at Dulwich, England, in 1852. He married first Annie Middleton in 1869, at Rumstead, Kent. Of this union there came one son. He later married Jessie Clark in 1881, in Bordeaux, France. The couple had three daughters and one son. Chambers may have worked as a photographer in Barcelona, Spain, as early as 1888. He moved to Vancouver Island where he carried on the same trade at Northfield and Nanoose in the 1890s before moving to Victoria, where he ran a photographic studio until 1900. He later operated another photographic studio in Nanaimo and then moved to Vancouver, where he turned to nursing. Jessie Chambers died in Vancouver in 1907, and Arthur died there in 1935. Frederick Dundas Todd was born at Springfield, Fife, Scotland in 1858. He trained as a teacher and held teaching posts in Scotland before emigrating to the United States, where he was a photographic judge and publisher. In 1906 Todd moved to Medford, Oregon, and two years later settled in Victoria. He was appointed Provincial Apiarist and held that post until 1921. Frederick Dundas Todd married Rebecca Keay in 1885, and had three sons and two daughters. Todd died in Victoria in 1926. The Chambers and Todd families are related by marriage; R.A.D. Todd, a son of Frederick Dundas Todd, married Phoebe Rosalie Chambers, daughter of Arthur Hyde Chambers.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Jacob Hunter Todd (1829-1899) was born in Brampton, Ontario. He came to British Columbia in 1862 and opened a grocery business in Barkerville. He later purchased a number of fish canneries. He married Rosanna Wigley in 1873, and their family included two daughters, Mary Anne (d. 1950) and Rose (1885-1980). These sisters married, respectively, John Hebden Gillespie (1879-1929), a soldier and businessman, and Alexander Gillespie (1881-1948), a noted local rugby player and businessman. The Gillespie brothers formed their own real estate and insurance business, Gillespie, Hart and Todd, with their brother-in-law, Ernest Dain Todd, in 1911.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists primarily of glass plate negatives, the majority of which are images of individuals and family groups, including members of the Chambers and Todd families. Other images show industrial and commercial scenes, probably in the Nanaimo and central Vancouver Island areas, which are also the likely locales for a number of the pictures of beach camping scenes. Aside from pictures taken in England, the locales of a substantial number of images can only be surmised to be the Canadian Prairies and the southwestern United States. The work of Arthur Hyde Chambers and Frederick Dundas Todd are irretrievably mixed in this fonds. A single file of textual material consists of letters, real estate documents, a map and clippings.

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Item list available.

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BCAUL control number: CVIC-12

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