Fiddler’s Pour House

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Chew On This!

Chew On This! at Fiddler’s Pour House: In the News

Photographs have been used in news for over 100 years. On their own, these photos can be interesting, funny, or quite strange. In this way, photographs have an interesting relationship with news in that an article or caption might completely change the meaning of the photo. There are certainly a few photos in this photo series that cannot go un-captioned.

Additionally, this ‘In the News’ series allows us to feature just a few of some-600,000 photographs included in the St. Catharines Standard Collection, which was donated to the Museum by the newspaper back in 1999. The Standard Collection is one of the City’s richest historical resources and captures the photographic history of the city. We use these images in our work everyday. From the laying of the cornerstone of city hall or a ribbon-cutting ceremony (as one might expect) to the more exciting or weird: a dog on a desk in the Standard Office, a ship’s collision with the Port Robinson lift bridge, or the presence of two cows and a cop on a lawn in the City. If it happened, or if you yourself appeared in the paper between 1936 and 1999 we likely have an image here in the collection.

And now, in the digital age, where you and I can post our own photographs on whichever social media platform we like, we consider the what photographic, historical record we leave behind will look like to historians in the next century.

The Prince of Wales Unveils the Cenotaph, Memorial Park, 1927
STCM 2006.77.1749

August 7, 1927: The Prince of Wales officially unveils the newly constructed cenotaph in remembrance of the Great War at Memorial Park in St. Catharines. A wide angle photograph of the huge crowds at the memorial is commonly used in historical publications about the cenotaph, but this rarely seen image of the Prince arriving for the ceremony shows not only him a bit closer up, but also how many spectators packed the streets (and roofs) for the ceremony.

The ‘Steelton’ Collides with the Port Robinson Lift Bridge, 1974
STCM S1974.8.25.26

August 25, 1974: The 600-foot ore carrier Steelton, travelling northbound on the canal, struck and destroyed the bridge. The east tower of the bridge toppled over, while the west tower collapsed in on itself. The bridge span was pushed into the water, severely deformed. The damage to the bridge was estimated between $15 and $20 million. It was scrapped in its entirety. The removal of the towers from the canal, especially the counterweights (some 300 tons each), necessitated the use of a special heavy-duty floating crane. The canal was closed until September 9 for the repairs.

Slow News Day, 1940
STCM S1940.8.1.1

1940: What might have been a slow news day resulted in this 1940 photograph of Standard Employee Ern Cobley’s dog sitting on a desk in the Standard Office ending up in the newspaper.

Opening of the new Garden City Complex, 1938
STCM S1938.69.1.2

1938: From the Standard – “Crowds fill bleachers on opening day of new Garden City Arena. A crowd of 3500 found more than they expected when they filed into the Garden City Arena for the first hockey game on the new ice surface last night. Image top left is a section in one corner of the arena.”

The Victory Parade, 1918
STCM 1235-N

November, 1918: Parade-goers line St. Paul Street in celebration of the Triple Entente victory in Europe at the end of the Great War. Citizens look upwards to catch a glimpse of a fly-past as part of the military and civic celebrations.

“Two Cows and a Cop”, 1976
STCM S1976.3.1.47

1976: By far, one of the strangest photos in the collection is this one titled “Two Cows and A Cop”. From the Standard – “Exasperation shows on the face of Cadet Gordon Duncan as he stands guard over two calves he corralled on Pelham Rd. yesterday. The Niagara Regional Police officer spotted the errant beasts as they cropped their way across the lawns of west St. Catharines. Once they were cornered and tied, the only task remaining for Cadet Duncan was to locate the owner. A little investigation and tracing revealed the calves had wandered from the 5th Street Louth farm of David Smith.”