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Canadian World War 2 Photographer | Case #018

The Film
This is a full roll of images (36 shots) that I found, exposed, developed, and loose in a random box at a thrift store in Calgary, Alberta. On the negatives reads “Gevaert Belgium”. This was Agfa film probably from the 1940’s or 1950’s

The Camera
Unknown

UPDATE: October 2nd, 2014
Thanks to reddit user “1759” for finding out this is a German camera, a “Welta” or “Welti”.

The Photos

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The first few images are a little rough, and may not have been advancing properly. They are of an older man, reading a book. I checked the images at 100% and the book is out of focus and I can’t read the words.

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Her clothes, as well as her hair, look very much like the late 1940’s

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Someones mother, either the photographer’s or the younger blonde woman. She’s prepping something in the kitchen.

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It’s a family gathering for sure. You can see a black cat trying desperately to escape.

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Same gentleman who was reading earlier.

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Ah! She was making tea!

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These three photos say “Hey, can I try your camera?” Or maybe he bumped it out of focus?

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When you see them side by side they really do look like mother and daughter.

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About 11:30 is what’s on her watch.

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They are going through old photos…..hey, so are we πŸ™‚

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Here’s the photographer. There’s just enough of his jacket to see it’s actually a uniform.

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Even though these are fuzzy, they have beautiful composition. It’s obvious he’s a fan of nice shoes.

All of the indoor shots had a good exposure, I’m guessing large windows must have been at his back, and in a couple shots you can see bright reflections behind the subjects.

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I’m not sure if this is the same day, but it is the same brunette from the tea time photos. She’s having a smoke and opening a letter.

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Our war photographer is making a big deal about it.

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Or he’s teasing her until he gets the expression he wants, either way, mission accomplished soldier!

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I love this photo, and incidentally this and the next shot will be the largest clues as to where these photos were taken, assuming this isn’t weeks later in another city or country.

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He walked over and got a better shot of this bridge. You can see in the background of the previous photo. There’s a river and large boats, lots of old brick buildings that look French Canadian or European.

UPDATE: October 2nd, 2014
This is Tyne Bridge in New Castle, England, thanks to Yvonne for calling that in on Facebook!
Wikipedia states that there were tram lines removed in 1950. I cannot be 100% but I do not see lines on this bridge.

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Eastern Canada does have buildings like this but it feels more European, again, I could be wrong.

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Random kid in the street “Here kid, wear my hat”. If we didn’t know this man was a soldier before, we do now. An emblem is clearly visible on the hat. Though I’m not sure specifics, I’m pretty sure this is Canadian.

UPDATE: October 2nd, 2014
“The military badge on the uniform hat is from the Royal Regiment of Canada which is based out of Toronto.” Robbin McQueen

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 6.40.48 AM

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The kid has the empty camera case around his shoulder. I can’t make out the letters but it’s a short name of four, maybe five letters.

UPDATE: October 2nd, 2014
Thanks to reddit user “1759” for finding out this is a German camera, a “Welta” or “Welti”.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 6.41.00 AM

More kids playing.

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Poking at stuff with sticks, ah the good ‘ol days.

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Interesting symbol on his hat

UPDATE: October 2nd, 2014 “The badge on the childs cap may be from St Andrews College but can’t see enough to tell for sure.” Robbin McQueen

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 6.44.39 AM

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It only occurs to me while proof reading that both kids are in the same outfit, and it may be a uniform. School? Baseball?

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Summary

Taking a stab at the date, I’d be more inclined to learn towards the late 1940’s, after world war 2 ended and things were wrapping up. A lot of this can be further narrowed if we know where these were taken. The film is German, but photographers just grabbed whatever was on hand and he may have brought some film back to Canada.

11 thoughts on “Canadian World War 2 Photographer | Case #018”

  1. The military badge on the uniform hat is from the Royal Regiment of Canada which is based out of Toronto. The badge on the childs cap may be from St Andrews College but can’t see enough to tell for sure.

    One thing I noticed about the pictures of the bridge is the absence of bomb damage to the surrounding area. Most major bridges in Europe were heavily bombed during the war and it is unlikely no damage would show.

  2. Bridge Newcastle on Tyne, England ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/arch ) (down the page about half way on right ) a modern photo.

    1. Yes. The other pic of a building is the Black Gate, Castle Garth, Newcastle upon Tyne. I wonder if the lake was Paddy
      Freeman’s Park.

  3. The back end of the truck is parked/moving along on the wrong side of the road for Canada – unless by chance it is a one-way street, so this may not be evidence of being in England/Scotland.

    1. Licence plate on the truck appears ‘European’, railway tracks/tram tracks set in the road narrow it down to only a few Canadian cities having active light rail transit in their city during the 1940’s/early 50’s.

      1. The medium sized towns of Sydney Mines, North Sydney, Glace Bay and the City of Sydney, Cape Breton all had Trams systems (light-rail) at this time. So there may be more than a few.

  4. Definitely Newcastle upon Tyne England – High Level Bridge, Tyne Bridge and Swing Bridge. Building with the windows in the Black Gate – now a museum. All of these can be googled. The pond may be the Exhibition Park, not sure about that as I don’t recognise the funny buildings in the background – unless they were tents for the annual fair. The lady on the park bench has a fur with the fox head still attached. My mother had one of these in the late 40s.

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