SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Ottawa Timber Slide: mid-1880s

Ottawa Timber Slide: mid-1880s

A timber slide was a device for moving timber past rapids and waterfalls. The image here is of the main timber slide at Ottawa looking toward Canada’s parliament buildings. The men are riding a timber crib, which would carry up to 50 logs tied together down the chute. The ride was very fast and hilariously wet, which often attracted visiting dignitaries. In 1850, it was reported that up to 500 cribs went through this slide in one day. The logs were on their way to Montreal for shipment overseas.

Studio of William James Topley (1845-1930), Ottawa portrait photographer. View full size.

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Royalty Ride the Slide

In 1901 the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall visited Ottawa, and one of the highlights of their trip was a ride on a crib like this. They later became George V and Queen Mary.

SHORPY HISTORICAL 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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