Breaking News: The Postcard Images of George Alfred Barrowclough

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Heritage House Publishing Co, 2004 - History - 191 pages
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Winner of a City of Vancouver Heritage Award, 2005.

Before the First World War, photographs of major news events were rarely seen in the daily newspapers; the technology was still too new to make their use viable. Filling the gap and providing the missing images were the postcard photographers, who could make their breaking-news photos available on the street the day after an event occurred. George Alfred Barrowclough was one of those photographers.

Barrowclough had the eye of an artist and the nose of a newsman. His images of Vancouver and the surrounding areas stand out over those of other postcard photographers of his day in that they are more people-centred and action-oriented, capturing the lives and appearances of the people living in and around Vancouver in the decade before the Great War. Drawing from postcards that Barrowclough produced between 1908 and 1912, award-winning authors Fred Thirkell and Bob Scullion have selected images for Breaking News that showcase the photographer's focus on people and events. In Vancouver in those years, you looked to newspapers for words; you looked to Barrowclough for news.

This is Fred Thirkell and Bob Scullion's sixth book in the postcard genre. Several of their earlier books have also won City of Vancouver Heritage awards.


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About the author (2004)

Fred Thirkell(1930-2009) was born and educated in Vancouver. He obtained his Licentiate in Theology from Anglican Theological College in 1954, and worked as a minister in communities throughout BC and Nova Scotia. He also worked as program coordinator for the Anglican diocese of the Kootenays in Nelson, BC, and as a social worker for the Children's Aid Society in Vancouver. Fred was keenly interested in history, and he got hooked on collecting vintage postcards while living in Nova Scotia. He later began matching these rare images he had collected with mini-histories. He and Bob Scullion published their first book featuring postcards in 1996.

Bob Scullion (1937-2009) was born in Glasgow, Scotland, one of Britain's best-preserved Victorian cities. Living there gave him an enthusiasm for and appreciation of cities and their history. He and Fred Thirkell published eight books with Heritage House in the postcard genre. Four of their books won City of Vancouver Heritage Awards: Breaking News , Frank Gowen's Vancouver , Vancouver and Beyond and Postcards from the Past .

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