Fonds - Edward Crawford Swank fonds

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Edward Crawford Swank fonds

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  • 1821-1962, predominant1916-1958 (Creation)
    Swank, Edward Crawford, 1890-1992?

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Physical description

12.0 cm of textual records;8 photographs;23 negatives

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Biographical history

Edward Crawford Swank was born September 13, 1980 in Omaha, Nebraska. His prolific career on the sea began in 1907 as a deckhand for the Canadian Pacific Coast Service fleet. On July 27,1916 Swank received his certificate of naturalization, becoming a British Subject. That same year he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and served on the HMCS Malaspina and on other ships in the Atlantic. After serving for two years and earning certification as Mate in the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve, he returned to the CPR, transferring to their Ocean Service fleet.;In 1919 he left service to write his Masters papers which he received on August 5,1919 with certification as Master of a Passenger Steamer. Swanks first job as a ships Master was with Thompson Howe Sound Navigation, which was later taken over by the Union Steamships Company. In 1922 he joined the Grand Trunk Pacific Line (now called Canadian National Steamships). In 1942 he joined the B.C. Steamship Line (now known as Northland Navigation), running to Alaska for the United States Army. In 1945 he joined the Frank Waterhouse Company which was later absorbed by Union Steamships Ltd. Swank sailed on all of the Union Steamship freighters and was Master of their flagship Cassiar before his retirement on December 6, 1957.;Edward Swank was married to Elizabeth May (maiden name unknown) and until his death, they resided at 2903 Kathleen Street, in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Custodial history

The records comprising this fonds were salvaged by Leonard McCann, Curator Emeritus of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and a neighbour of Edward Swank in the early 1990s. The records, unclaimed by any known heirs, were left behind in the Swank house and were retrieved prior to the demolition of the home. The records were returned to the Maritime Museum and stored as part of the Reference Library collection.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of textual and graphic records created and received by Edward Swank during his private life and as a prominent member of British Columbias maritime community. Included are photographs, negatives, personal correspondence, certificates, identification cards, service reference letters, letters of appointment, certificates of discharge, notebooks, crew lists, copies of logbook entries, accounts and wages forms, doctors letters for various seamen, and ship repair lists.;The fonds is arranged into two series: Personal papers (1821-1962, predominantly 1916-1962); and Maritime service records (1904-1958, predominantly 1916-1944).

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BCAUL control number: VMM-2

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