Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Found Foote Photo #14: Labour Day, Part Two

"Late last August, just in time for Labour Day, I shared what is called a 'real photo' postcard by L. B. Foote.

The image shows some Stonewall residents, back in 1913, apparently preparing for their annual Labour Day parade. As an avid collector of Manitoba postcards, I have only occasionally come across any by Foote. While he did occasionally produce postcards, Foote was by no means prolific.

We postcard collectors, more officially known as 'deltiologists,' scour our worlds in search of items to add to our collections. Admittedly an odd lot, you’ll find us poking around garage sales, flea markets, auctions and antique shops. Nowadays we’ll often spend our evenings scouring internet sources like eBay. Egged on by the occasional thrill of acquiring a rare card, we likely have a lot in common with folks who play the slots. That Labour Day card by Foote was a “payday” for me – a rare treat.

Those of us who specialize in historic Manitoba postcards quickly become amateur detectives and 'accidental' historians. As is true of the Foote photographs of Winnipeg, the cards we acquire teach us about the past and many challenge us to discover even more. As an example; after I submitted Stonewall postcard to this blog, I noticed that the license plate on one of the automobiles was visible amidst its decorations – number 2828. I contacted a friend who has catalogued automobile license plates and vehicle owners from 1912. I learned that this vehicle was owned by William A. Williamson, born in Manitoba. In 1912, he was 26 years old, single, and employed as a clerk in a hardware store at Stonewall. That is likely William behind the wheel.

While Foote postcards are rare, lightning sometimes strikes twice. About a month ago, I encountered and acquired yet another one! Very surprisingly, it was taken in Stonewall on the same day as my earlier postcard – and shows the actual parade in progress. The parade is being led by two of the largest floats. The first, a horse-drawn canopied float is identified (by a banner in front of the lead horses) as “Presbyterian S.S.” (Sunday School?). Directly behind it is a self-propelled float in the shape of a boat, likely constructed over an automobile. Also shown in this image, on the left side, is Stonewall’s Canadian Pacific Hotel which was constructed in 1880.

Once again, a thankful salute to L. B. – for a lifetime of work that now enables us to retrace and reconstruct our own 'forgotten' history."
- Rob McInnes, Postcard Accumulator and Purveyor

* * *
Though this blog is shutting down, we thought we'd share one last 'found' Foote, again from Rob McInnes.

I will miss being able to share the contents of Rob's emails. But am consoled by things like the Manitoba Historical Maps flickr site, the Vintage Winnipeg page on Facebook, and even the sales of Imagining Winnipeg.

But do try to come out to the two final library visits, won't you? If you haven't heard Esyllt speak yet on this book and these photos, you've missed something...

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