Fonds - Francis (Frank) King Duncan fonds

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Francis (Frank) King Duncan fonds

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  • [ca. 1913-1916] (Creation)
    Duncan, Frank

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Physical description

1 cm of textual records;92 glass plate negatives;92 photographic prints

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Biographical history

Francis (Frank) Duncan was born in Missouri in 1878. As a child, he and his parents lived in California and Texas. After the death of his parents, Duncan returned to Missouri to live with his grandparents. Duncan trained as a photographer, returned to Texas to work and then decided to "go up into Canada fishing."

Duncan arrived in Salmon Arm in 1913 and opened a photography studio above the Kualt store. He was a widower at the time and sent for his daughter, Kathleen. Neighbours, the Reilly family, took care of the young girl at Tappen, while Duncan tried to make a living. To supplement his studio work, Duncan sold subscriptions to the Observer and bartered exchanges for his catches of fish.

The Salmon Arm Observer notes that Duncan was an experienced photographer when he arrived in the area. He specialized in railroad and newspaper photography, and had worked throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The Salmon Arm Observer commissioned Duncan to take photographs of all parts of the Shuswap. Interestingly, on June 18, 1914 the editors note that Mr. Duncan had a hydroplane that he used on Shuswap Lake. Duncan later worked in Klamath Falls, Oregon before moving to Texas. He made homes in Presidio, Terlingua and, finally, Marfa in 1916. According to The Big Bend Sentinel, Duncan considered himself primarily a prospector, with photographic skills. He approached ranchers in Texas, asking to prospect, but was usually denied access to their land. Then, as a back up, Duncan offered to take portraits of the ranchers' families and landscapes of their ranches. The Marfa Presidio County Museum houses 2,200 of Duncan's glass and film negatives from the region. Duncan loved hunting, fishing and the outdoors. He died July 9, 1970 at Brownfield, Texas and was buried at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Big Spring, Texas. Duncan was 91.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of glass plate negatives and contact prints made from those negatives. The collection of ninety-two Duncan negatives housed in the Salmon Arm Museum's archives includes railroad, landscape, portrait and team sport photographs.

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Finding aid available. Online Finding Aid

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BCAUL control number: SAM-3368

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