Lately, we’ve been highlighting some important lessons that can be learned in our collections, including the history of typography, how surgery was performed in the 16th century, and which artists are responsible for the art in the Chung Collection. But did you know that our collections also contain important business lessons? That’s right, business lessons from the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) collection, which is part of our Chung Collection! 

 

1. Keep Your Word

The Canadian Pacific Railway was built to fulfill a pledge that John A. Macdonald made to British Columbia. To be part of the Canada, BC demanded that a transcontinental railway should be built to connect the west and east.

Map of Canadian Pacific Railway, Kootenay District, British Columbia, 1904

 

2. Manage Projects Closely

British Columbia gave the Canadian government ten years to build the railway. Despite the complexity of building railways across Canada, the Canadian Pacific Railway completed the project before the estimated time.

 

3. Take Initiative

Although the railway project was successfully completed, and there was now a connection between the Canadians coasts, there were not enough people actually using it, which affected business profitability. As a result, the CPR sold their lands near the railway to settlers and immigrants in order for them to occupy the Prairies. The settlers did not know how to farm in the Prairie environment, so the CPR created ready-made farms where buyers could purchase the land and immediately start seeding the soil. The CPR also created initiatives to educate farmers on how to cultivate prairie soil. In the early 1900s, the CPR spent more money than the Canadian government in promoting immigration and settlement.

Ready made farms in Western Canada, 1910

 

4. Create Business Opportunities

The CPR management noticed that passengers needed a place to stop and rest during long trips across the country, so they decided to build their own hotels. Seeing the potential of the tourism trade, the CPR began to explore possible attractions for their hotels. This led to the discovery of natural hot springs in Alberta and the founding of the Banff Hot Springs Reserve (later Banff National Park), Canada’s first National Park. The park became a popular destination for vacations.

Canadian Pacific Hotels from Atlantic to Pacific, 1942

 

5. Transform Barriers into Opportunities

The CPR business was tested on several occasions. A notable example was when a climber unfortunately died while climbing Mount Lefroy in Banff National Park. In order to avoid any future tragedies and possible negative word of mouth, the CPR began to hire Swiss hiking guides to lead tourists through the mountains and ensure their safety. In the 55 years that the program was in place, no one died.

The challenge of the mountains, 1907

 

6. Diversify

You always hear that you should never put all your eggs in one basket. The CPR definitely took that advice to heart. Around 1971, their main businesses were: railway, ships, hotels, mines, minerals and manufacturing, oil and gas exploration, airlines, telecommunications, trucking, and real estate.

Canadian Pacific Airlines: straight to the point, 1946

 

7. Innovate

There was a time when telegrams were very popular at Christmas time. People loved to see the CPR telegram boy come to their door in his gray uniform to give them a colored telegram designed by the CPR’s art department, along with messages from their relatives. But the CPR’s real innovation was the Santagram, which were telegrams sent by Santa Claus himself to children.

 

8. Be Socially Responsible

The CPR contributed to the education of children in Northern Ontario, by bringing a school car to remote areas of the province. The car came equipped with a chalkboard, desks, a map, a library, and an area for the teacher to live. The car would typically stay in the same place for five days, then move around to other regions, leaving enough homework for the children to do until its return.

 

Sources:

Canadian Pacific Railway (Historica Canada)

Canadian Pacific Railway (UBC Library)

CPR history for students (CPR)

Our history (CPR)

The story of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)

Sing Tao Weekly features The Chung Collection.

If you take a look at the Canadian Pacific Railway Company posters in our Chung Collection, you’ll be amazed by all of the wonderful paintings depicting early and mid 20th-century travel in Canada. These promotional posters were created to attract tourists to the many trains, hotels, world cruises, Canadian tours, and airplanes owned by Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

Several artists in Canada were recruited to design these materials, including Norman Fraser, A. C. Leighton, Peter Ewart, Kenneth Shoesmith, Roger Couillard and A. Y., among others.

Get to know a little about two of these artists.

 

Alfred Crocker Leighton (1901-1965)

Born in October 27, 1901, in Hastings, England, Leighton used his drawing skills to win a scholarship at the Brassey Institute, Hastings’ Municipal School of Art. Initially, he studied architecture to satisfy his father’s wishes, but after an intervention, his father agreed to let Leighton study art.

Between 1919 and 1924, Leighton worked as a toy designer and became a member of the Royal Society of British Artists after submitting one of his works. In 1924, he and a partner built a working scale model of the port of Liverpool, which caught the public’s attention along with the interest of certain Canadian Pacific Company executives.

Later that year, he was hired by the Canadian Pacific Company. He would travel on the company’s trains, jump off to sketch scenes, and then get back on the next train. He returned once more to the UK, before coming back to Canada and settling down in 1929. Leighton worked as Art Director of the Art Institute of Calgary, formed the Alberta Society of Artists, and established the Banff School of Fine Arts.

Learn more about Leighton’s history at the Leighton Art Centre website. This is a sample of his work in our Chung Collection:

Chateau Lake Louise, 1938

 

Canadian Pacific Empress of Australia, 1925

 

Peter Ewart (1918-2001)

Peter Ewart was born April 7, 1918, in Kisbey, Saskatchewan, but was raised in Montreal. Although Ewart enjoyed playing hockey and marbles with his friends, his true passion was painting and drawing, which lead him to study art in Montreal and later in New York City.

During World War II, Ewart enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). While in service, he was stationed in British Columbia for a time, first at Pat Bay and then at Spider Island. Ewart was so amazed by the beautiful BC scenery that he decided to settle there after the war.

After moving to Vancouver, Ewart was hired by the Canadian Pacific Company, creating over 20 posters and two serigraphic prints for them. But Ewart’s work goes beyond commercial illustrations. His paintings have been exhibited in the Royal Academy (London, England), Royal Canadian Academy, Canadian National Exhibition, and Mid-Century Exposition of Canadian Painting, among others.

If you want to get to know more about Peter Ewart’s history, check out the website Peter Ewart. This is a sample of his work in our Chung Collection:

The three sisters Canadian Rockies, 1955

 

Banff-Lake Louise region Canadian Rockies via Canadian Pacific, 1941

 

Canadian Pacific train in the Rocky Mountains, 1940

 

If you are interested in knowing more about Canadian Pacific Railway and graphic art, check the book “Canadian Pacific: creating a brand, building a nation“. To see these and other items of the collection, access Open Collections.

 

Sources:

A.C. Leighton: a biographical sketch (Sharecom)

Artwork and images of the C.P.R. (The Chung Collection)

Go Canada! When gorgeous graphic design lured the world to the great white north (Collectors Weekly)

Peter Ewart: an artist’s journey (Peter Ewart)

The early years (Leighton Art Centre)

February 12 is Family Day in British Columbia. While this statutory holiday was created in BC in 2013, falling on the second Monday every February, it has existed in other parts of Canada for even longer.

The very first province to observe Family Day as a statutory holiday was Alberta in 1990, when Family Day was created to give people the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

To celebrate the date, we’ve brought you some of our favorite family pictures from our collections.

 

When it comes to building families, often everything starts with a wedding.

[Chinese family wedding], 1940

 

Then, comes the kids

[Two boys dressed as sailors], 1940

Bill Ciss, Elsie and Babe up Grouse Mountain, 1925-35?

 

Sometimes, several kids

[French family with ten children], 1920-29?

 

But there’s always space for one more

[Photograph depicting a family], 1879

 

Happy Family Day!

Shigetaka Sasaki family

 

F. K. Hare and family, 1968

 

The history behind the photos

Two boys dressed as sailors: the photo is part of an album from a Vancouver family. The album contains several registries from family’s travels across British Columbia and the United States, while also showcasing their life in Vancouver.

Bill Ciss, Elsie and Babe up Grouse Mountain: the photo is part of an unknown family album from our Uno Langmann Collection. There are photos from British Columbia or Alberta and other locations not identified.

French family with ten children: the photo depicts a French family traveling on the Duchess of Bedford cruise of the Canadian Pacific Railways.

Shigetaka Sasaki family: Steve Shigetaka Sasaki was the top judoka in his province in Japan before he immigrated to Canada in 1922. He was the founder of the Vancouver Judo Club (Taiku Iku Dojo) and was known as the “Father of Judo in Canada”.

F. K. Hare and family: Frederick Kenneth Hare was a meteorologist and environmentalist. Hare was also the fifth president of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

 

If you are interested in getting to know more about our collections, the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs have a lot of family photos from 1850s to the 1950s. You will be amazed to see those pictures, as we were.

 

Sources:

British Columbians reflect on the meaning of Family Day (CBC News)

F. Kenneth Hare (Science)

Family Day in Canada (Time and Date)

Former UBC president Kenneth Hare remembered (UBC)

History of Judo in Canada (Vernon Judo Club)

Shigetaka (Steve) Sasaki Family Fonds (Nikkei Museum)

February 12 is Family Day in British Columbia. While this statutory holiday was created in BC in 2013, falling on the second Monday every February, it has existed in other parts of Canada for even longer.

The very first province to observe Family Day as a statutory holiday was Alberta in 1990, when Family Day was created to give people the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

To celebrate the date, we’ve brought you some of our favorite family pictures from our collections.

 

When it comes to building families, often everything starts with a wedding.

[Chinese family wedding], 1940

 

Then, comes the kids

[Two boys dressed as sailors], 1940

Bill Ciss, Elsie and Babe up Grouse Mountain, 1925-35?

 

Sometimes, several kids

[French family with ten children], 1920-29?

 

But there’s always space for one more

[Photograph depicting a family], 1879

 

Happy Family Day!

Shigetaka Sasaki family

 

F. K. Hare and family, 1968

 

The history behind the photos

Two boys dressed as sailors: the photo is part of an album from a Vancouver family. The album contains several registries from family’s travels across British Columbia and the United States, while also showcasing their life in Vancouver.

Bill Ciss, Elsie and Babe up Grouse Mountain: the photo is part of an unknown family album from our Uno Langmann Collection. There are photos from British Columbia or Alberta and other locations not identified.

French family with ten children: the photo depicts a French family traveling on the Duchess of Bedford cruise of the Canadian Pacific Railways.

Shigetaka Sasaki family: Steve Shigetaka Sasaki was the top judoka in his province in Japan before he immigrated to Canada in 1922. He was the founder of the Vancouver Judo Club (Taiku Iku Dojo) and was known as the “Father of Judo in Canada”.

F. K. Hare and family: Frederick Kenneth Hare was a meteorologist and environmentalist. Hare was also the fifth president of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

 

If you are interested in getting to know more about our collections, the Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs have a lot of family photos from 1850s to the 1950s. You will be amazed to see those pictures, as we were.

 

Sources:

British Columbians reflect on the meaning of Family Day (CBC News)

F. Kenneth Hare (Science)

Family Day in Canada (Time and Date)

Former UBC president Kenneth Hare remembered (UBC)

History of Judo in Canada (Vernon Judo Club)

Shigetaka (Steve) Sasaki Family Fonds (Nikkei Museum)

The 2018 Winter Olympics are starting this week! They are going to be hosted by PyeongChang in South Korea, beginning on February 9, 2018. For 16 days, we will see the best winter sports athletes in the world compete for gold.

To get into the sportive spirit, we selected a few materials from our collection that show off some of the Olympic winter sports.

 

Freestyle skiing 

An advertisement from our Chung Collection: 

Banff-Lake Louise region Canadian Rockies via Canadian Pacific, 1941

 

Ice hockey 

A photograph from our UBC Archives Photograph Collection:

Hockey players, Ritz brothers, 1939

 

Bobsleigh

A selection from a family album in our Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs:

[Group on sled], 1928

Curling

An action shot from our UBC Archives Photograph Collection:

Pharmacy dean Bernard Riedel curling, 1979

 

Skating

A photograph from our Uno Langmann Family Collection of British Columbia Photographs:

Skating on Trout Lake, Vancouver, B.C., 1925

 

While researching images for this post, we found plenty of other materials involving outdoor activities in winter. While these activities may not be Olympic sports, they are certainly a workout.

 

Snowshoeing, from our H. Bullock-Webster Fonds:

December – soft snow – misery, 1880

 

Snow shoveling, from our UBC Archives Photograph Collection:

Youth Training School snow shoveling, 1951

 

Grab your mittens and get ready to cheer on your favorite athletes, because the Winter Olympics only come once every four years.

You have probably walked by it, maybe even seen a sign or poster inviting you in, but if you haven’t yet discovered the magic that is Rare Books & Special Collections located on Level 1 of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, you are missing out. Rare Books & Special Collections houses significant collections of rare books, archival materials, historic maps and photographs and it’s open to all UBC students, staff and faculty and the general public.

The collection is extensive, and it would take several lifetimes to see the all the treasures available to you as a UBC student so, we’ve created a list of highlights to use when you stop by for a visit.

Here are five items to see before you graduate.  

The first item ever printed in the city of Vancouver

photo of the front page of the Vancouver weekly herald and North pacific news

 

The first edition of The Vancouver Weekly Herald and North Pacific News was published on Friday, January 15, 1886 when the population of Vancouver hovered at about 1000. This is the only surviving copy of Vancouver’s first newspaper and it provides amazing insight into what was happening in the city at that time. 

Canadian Pacific Railway Ads

Banff Lake Louise Region Canadian pacific railway ad with illustration of a skier

 

Maybe some of the most iconic pieces of Canadiana, our vibrant Canadian Pacific Railway advertisements are a must-see for anyone interested in art and design. The posters, that were created out of the C.P.R.’s silkscreen studio in Montreal, are part of our Chung Collection that holds one of the largest research collections on the Canadian Pacific Railway Company as well as a huge collection of Chinese Canadian historical content. Dr. Chung was first inspired to collect items on the subject of the Canadian Pacific Railway company when as a young boy he saw a poster of the Empress of Asia in his father’s tailor shop.  His collection started modestly, with newspaper clippings and scrapbooks, but has now grown to thousands of rare and sometimes unique items.

Letters written and signed by Darwin. Yes, that Darwin.

Letter written by Charles Darwin

 

Two of our most exciting collections at RBSC are collections of letters written to and by Charles Darwin, the well-known evolutionary biologist and originator of the concept of natural selection. The image above is from a group of about forty letters written between Charles Darwin and John Scott Burdon Sanderson from 1873 to 1881 and deal with the research Darwin and Burdon Sanderson were conducting on the digestive powers and leaf movements of insect-eating plants. Darwin published the results of this research as part of his book Insectivorous Plants (1875).

The Dali Alice

First page of the Dali Alice

 

Surrealist artist Salvador Dali’s interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a literary and artistic treasure that is not to be missed. You can even take a closer look at the original woodcut remarques (a small vignette image in the margin of a print, often related thematically to the main image) that are stored in a linen and leather case.

A model of Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca

model of digital orca sculpture by Douglas Coupland

 

If you live Vancouver, you’ve undoubtedly seen the stunning 25-foot-tall sculpture of the Digital Orca next to the Vancouver Convention Centre. The powder coated aluminum sculpture built on a stainless steel frame was created by Canadian novelist and artist Douglas Coupland in 2009. You can take closer look at the Digital Orca at Rare Books & Special Collections, but on a much smaller scale; the model of the sculpture is just one of the many interesting items in the Douglas Coupland fonds.

Join us for a VIP tour of Rare Books & Special Collections on Wednesday February 14 at 11 a.m. Reserve your spot.

 

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