Historically Important Early Photos of the Hudson's Bay Company Outposts Along the Arctic Coast in Nunavut

[Album with ca. 300 Mounted and 45 Loosely Inserted Original Gelatin Silver Photographs Showing Hudson’s Bay Company’s Posts in Nunavut, HBC Boats and Officers Voyaging along the Arctic Coast of the Northwest Territories and Yukon, and Portraits of Inuit People]

Ca. 1928-1941. Oblong Quarto (ca. 21,5x28 cm). 50 card stock leaves with tissue guards. With ca. 300 mounted original gelatin silver photographs, from ca. 10,5x15 cm (4 ¼ x 6 in) to ca. 5x7,5 cm (2x3 in), the majority are ca. 7x10 cm (2 ¾ x 3 ¾ in) or slightly bigger/smaller. Over 190 photos with period pencil manuscript captions in English on the mounts. With 45 loose gelatin silver photos, including sixteen larger images from ca. 19x24 cm (7 ½ x 9 ½ in) to ca. 17,5x21,5 cm (7 x 8 ½ in); six photos ca. 12,5x17,5 cm (5 x 6 ¾ in); and 23 smaller photos from ca. 8x13,5 cm (3 x 5 ¼ in) to ca. 6x10 cm (2 ½ x 4 in); seven small photos with period pencil captions on versos. Period brown faux leather “Ensign” album. Due to empty spaces next to the captions, approximately 18 photos have been 21 removed from the album (but could present among the loosely inserted ones), most tissue guards crinkled, a few photos very mildly faded, but overall a very good album of strong, interesting images.

Historically important extensive collection of original photographs of Hudson’s Bay Company’s posts, their officers and the Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic ca. 1928-1941. The photos were taken by a young HBC associate who came to Canada from Scotland on board the “Aurania” steamship in the late 1920s. The compiler is present on many pictures; apparently, he was originally from Inverurie (Aberdeenshire), and his name is captioned as “Farnie.” The young man helped to build the HBC post in Kugaryuak (existed in ca. 1928- 38) and for a while served at the nearby Bernard Harbour post. He also made several voyages along the Arctic coast of Canada on board the HBC steamer “Baychimo” (in 1931 it had to be abandoned and became a ghost ship), visiting as far as Herschel Island (Yukon) and King William Island, and spent some time in Alaska. Important photos show several HBC posts in modern-day Nunavut, including those in Tree River (several general views from the sea and land), Bernard Harbour (HBC storefront, general view of the “Company & police buildings,” “our house at B.H.,” “our house in winter,” “magnetic pole plane unloading at B.H.,” several photos of “mining planes” at Bernard Harbour, “magnetic pole plane” with the sign “G-CASK,” etc.), Perry River (“1st camp at Perry River, 1941,” “Perry River post, 1941”), Coppermine/Fort Hearne (“three beauties at Coppermine,” HBC buildings), Bathurst Inlet (“unloading at Bathurst,” “Bathurst Inlet post”), Cambridge Bay (general view, “Company’s house”), etc. Several photos depict the construction of the HBC post in Kugaryuak – “unloading timber,” “building our warehouse,” general view of the post under construction, post’s surroundings (looking east, west, south), HBC store, “Kugaryuak in summer,” etc. There are also photos of the HBC post at Herschel Island (unloading cargo, a group of Inuit), several views of crossing the land on a dog sled to Tree River, a snow vehicle on tracks with the sign “HBC” on the side, etc. 22 Several interesting photos show HBC steamer “Baychimo” (general views taken from the distance, group portraits of “some of the crew” and passengers, a slightly blurry photo of a “barber’s shop – Bay Chimo,” a portrait of “Farnie” and his companions wearing “overalls” on board). There are also photos of other HBC boats (“Polar Bear,” “Sea Lion,” “Sea Wolf,” “Margaret A.,” “Cinderella,” “Aklavik,” “Fort MacPherson,” the latter - near King William Island), RCMP boat “St. Roch,” “Bay Maud” in Cambridge Bay, a “police boat,” etc. Several photos depict Arctic floatplanes at Bernard Harbour and elsewhere (with the numbers CF-ART, CF-AKI, CF-ARI, and others), which most likely belonged to the expedition party of the “Dominion Explorers” mining company from Toronto, led by Colonel McAlpine in 1929. Numerous photos portray the Inuit people – an old man wearing sunglasses, children in parkas, men on board an HBC boat, a “native girl Nelga,” “husband, wife, & child,” an Inuit woman in front of her snow house, a group of men “mudding a sled,” “natives getting water from river,” “Ambrose, our interpreter” (several portraits), a “woman in dancing costume,” two Inuit women captioned “Mae and Susie,” a “witch doctor,” “Tulitok, native,” a “native doctor,” a group of “Reid Island natives,” men with their dogs, a “marauder we took from K[ing] W[illiam] L[and] to C[ambridge] Bay;” interesting photos show a “native camp, April 1929,” a “deerskin tent,” an outdoor “native service, April 1929,” and others. Quite a lot of photos show “Farnie” and his companions, other HBC officers and white settlers in Nunavut: “Two of the boys & two half-breeds,” “Mr. Edgar, P.M.,” “P.M. and native,” a “trapper,” “Mrs. Watson and family” (three young children), “Trapper Moris, wife & native,” “Otto & Shand. K[ing] W[illiam] L[and],” local policeman “Otto Baker” with a group of 23 Inuit, a Canadian Christmas party, etc. Farnie is shown “in winter clothing, April,” “on a snowdrift in front of the house, 8 ft high,” “on Baillie Island, all bitten by mosquitoes,” at Pearce Point, “Angus & Farnie on Perry River,” etc. Several photos show the company’s sled dogs and puppies (the puppies are sitting inside a box from the “Brookfield Brand Creamery Butter”), Arctic birds and their nests with eggs, etc. The larger loose photos show an HBC store on shore with several boats next to it, details of construction of Inuit winter sleds, the interior of an Inuit kayak, a large igloo, six photos of ground nests of Arctic birds (three are the enlarged copies of the photos from the album, including those of the nests of Canadian grey goose and eider duck), Arctic flowers, portraits of Inuit and white settlers, etc. The smaller loose photos show the “[HBC] Store at Bernard H.,” HBC cargo ship “Aklavik” frozen in (the ship’s name and the company’s flag clearly seen), Fokker float place of “McKenzie Air Service” (sign “CF-ATW” on the side), a snowmobile equipped with tracks, an Inuit camp, portraits of Inuit men, children dressed in parkas, “Coppermine natives,” “Partly built snow house,” “Fish hole,” “Some of my dogs,” etc. The collection also has two real photo postcards of Dutch Harbour and Unalaska, several views of Montreal, the Rocky Mountains and Dutch Harbour (the compiler went there in 1928, one photo is captioned “In the snow, 23rd July 1928, Alaska”). Overall an exceptional content-rich collection on the history of the Hudson’s Bay Company and native people of the Canadian Arctic ca. 1928-1941.

Item #296

Price: $5,250.00 USD