Hi, my name is Mark, and I’ve got a kind of interesting story to tell:
My dad worked in the drafting/survey/mapping industry since the late 1940′s. I’d guess that throughout his career he probably worked for at least six different mapping companies here in the Vancouver, BC, area. That’s not to say that he had a lot of jobs, but rather that mapping companies here seem to change hands like hockey cards at an elementary school. I don’t think 5 years goes by without some mapping company being bought out, changing names, or both. The companies change names but the people remain the same. I know, because I’m in the mapping industry too. I’ve been working with air photos since pretty much the day I graduated high school, that’s coming up on 28 years ago. I even had the pleasure of working with my dad for about 10 of those years.
I recall in the mid-1990′s when mapping was going “digital” and most of the old equipment was being retired. The photolab was being shut down because images were now stored on computer, not in large rolls of film the size of jumbo paper towel rolls. The digital generation was here, and there just wasn’t room any longer to house the thousands of rolls of old air film. The majority of this film was destroyed but my dad, growing up in Vancouver and being a nostalgic fellow, rescued some of the oldest and stored them in his trailer.
Another 15 or 20 years went by, and now I’m sad to say, my dad has passed away.
While cleaning out his trailer and going through his possessions, we made an incredible find, roughly seven thousand air photos from 1946 through 1967, the majority of them original negatives. Not only that, but three record books were included, providing an index of what was flown and when. It looks like most of the photos are of British Columbia, a large percentage of them being in and around the Lower Mainland. But I’ve found “codes” for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well.
Since I know a little something about digital imagery, it is my intent to scan these negatives and post as many as I can to this web site. Maybe I can even sell a few copies to make up for some of the time it takes touching up dust and scratches.
I hope that my Dad and I can offer you a glimpse of what it was like to live in the Lower Mainland over 50 years ago.