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Friday, March 1, 2013

Getting Even Closer

I thought that the last blog post had a close up of a train along the Kicking Horse River; I was mistaken.

Take a look at the picture on this post card. While it is not in the best of shapes, it does show a very close up view of another train on the CPR mainline. Through my 15 power magnifying glass, I can see that the engine number has four digits, but I can't make out what they are. The train does seem to be double headed, as per usual on this section of the mainline. There is writing along the bottom right hand toward the corner. It says,"357. Kicking Horse Canyon." It was written there by Byron Harmon when he developed and printed the post card. The back has the stamp on it that tells us that it is his card and provides reminders of which side is for the address and which side is for the correspondence.

This poor post card has several bends and creases in it. But, it is a Byron Harmon original and so it stays in my collection. So, a bit more about Byron:(taken from the website: http://www.harmonphotography.com/artists/byron.html)

In 1906 The Alpine Club of Canada was formed under the Directorship of Arthur O. Wheeler. With Byron’s noticeable presence in town, Wheeler invited him to become a charter member and the official club photographer. To compliment it’s lofty ambitions, the ACC was committed to publishing an annual journal, which would feature prominently Harmon’s photos. The opportunity was a rare blessing and afforded Harmon a shot at reaching his goal of photographing every peak in the Rockies in as many moods and settings as possible.

Two Alpine Club trips in particular accounted for a sizeable body of Harmon’s collection and increased his stature as a photographer and a mountain goer. The first was a trip into the Purcell Mountains with Wheeler and Himalayan climber Dr. T. G. Longstaff in 1910, during which Harmon discovered and photographed Bugaboo Glacier.. The second was a three-month expedition the following year into the Mt. Robson area with Wheeler, mountain guide Conrad Kain, and four scientists from the Smithsonian Institute. For Wheeler, the trip was a chance to explore new territory in preparation for a later ACC camp and to scout out the Canadian Rockies’ most lofty peak; for the scientists it was a great look at the flora and fauna of the northern Canadian Rockies; and for Harmon it was an intimate look at some of the wildest country in Western Canada. During the trip, Harmon and Kain made a first ascent of nearby Mt. Resplendent, 3362 meters. During a future trip Harmon would photograph a party summiting the ridge of Mt. Resplendent, one of his most famous images.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.