SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Government Street: 1903

Government Street: 1903

Circa 1903. "Government Street -- Victoria, British Columbia." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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The sheer number of glass electrical insulators on those poles is almost mind boggling! 14 per horizontal slat, 7 rows of (doubled) slats, plus 4 farther down makes TWO HUNDRED per pole! That's only counting the larger poles on the left.

Makes you appreciate how much they've been able to simplify the system since then.


From the summer of 2013. My eye was drawn at a similar angle to the same stretch, but only to one side of the street.


I'm in awe of the consistency of the plumb utility poles.

A veritable forest

of telephone poles!

Bank of Montreal

Completed in 1897. 1200 Government Street at Bastion Square, opposite View Street.

Still Smokin'

Against all odds, E.A. Morris, the tobacconist at the far left of the photo, survives to the present day in the same location, albeit in a different building. I visited Victoria recently from my home in Vancouver, and a feature of this shop is a gas flame with a moustache protector that burns continuously for lighting tobacco products. Cuban cigars are still available, since Canada did not sever its diplomatic relationship with Cuba.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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