Images from Buflyer on Flickr
What would Winnipeg history be without the photography of Lewis Foote ? From the time of his arrival in Winnipeg in 1902 until his retirement in 1947, Foote chronicled Winnipeg's growth from a frontier town to the Chicago of the North.
Many of his photographs are the historical record, often the only known image of countless people, buildings or events. How could you begin to tell the story of the Winnipeg General Strike's Bloody Saturday without his iconic images ?
Foote didn't concentrate on the rich and prominent, he also showed the lives of the ordinary Winnipeggers doing ordinary things. Construction workers on the job, the interiors of slum dwellings, middle class families sitting down to dinner or picnicking in a park.
The scope of Foote's collection is astonishing. If you drop by the Manitoba Archives, you will find thousands of them in a filing cabinet. Whenever I visit, I sit down with a couple of file folders and just flip through them to get a slice of Winnipeg's daily life in the early 1900s.
Though Foote's photographs can be found in most every book or website related to Winnipeg history, aside from heading down to the archives you won't find a large collection in one place. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at McNally Robinson a new book called Imagining Winnipeg: History Through the Photographs of L. B. Foote will be launched. It is a collection of 150 photographs, many rarely seen.
It is definitely worth checking out.
For more details about the launch, here is the U of M Press media release.
Mr. Foote has left behind him a legacy that, in its way, is more valuable and more permanent than many legacies - his unequalled pictorial history of his city and its people. It is a fine memorial.
Winnipeg Free Press, July 15, 1957
Lost Foote Photos Blog
Buflyer's Foote Gallery on Flickr (the source of the above images)
Timelinks Manitoba Historical Society