Manitoba Photographers: George Alfred Barrowclough (1870-1950)

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Born at Birkenhead, England on 1 May 1870, son of Joseph Barrowclough and Elizabeth Lees, younger brother of S. L. Barrowclough, he emigrated to Canada in 1882 and came to Winnipeg.

By the age of 25 years, he was working as a photographer at Stonewall, moving to Dominion City by 1901. Within two years, he was back in Winnipeg, working as a bank clerk. He established his own firm, Winnipeg Pictoral Post Cards, in 1904 and sold postcards of “choice views of Winnipeg and Suburbs, Canadian Buffaloes, Indians, Farm Scenes, Breaking, Plowing match, harvesting, and threshing, etc.; also scenes of Canadian Prairie Fire.” That same year, he is believed to have contributed photographs for the 195-page book Illustrated Souvenir of Winnipeg published by William A. Martel. In total, it is estimated that he produced some 600-700 postcards during his residence at Winnipeg.

In early 1906, Barrowclough spent time in Deadwood (and Lead), South Dakota where his camera was reportedly destroyed in an altercation with a grizzly bear. While working in Colorado, he heard about the San Francisco earthquake and quickly went there, capturing a series of images of the devastation. Later in 1906, he moved to Burnaby, British Columbia where he continued to produce postcards for four or five more years. He remained there for most of the rest of his life, working at various jobs. On 9 November 1910, he married Scottish widow Elizabeth Riddock Davie (1871-1944). During the First World War, he served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and attained the rank of Sergeant.

He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 3 November 1950.


Portage and Main

View of Portage and Main, looking north (circa 1905)
Source: Rob McInnes, WP1138


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Snapshotting a grizzly,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 January 1906, page 2.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

Marriage and death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Breaking News: The Postcard Images of George Alfred Barrowclough by Fred Thirkell and Bob Scullion, BC: Heritage House Publishing, 2004.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough, Rob McInnes, and Andrew Cunningham.

Page revised: 18 January 2020

Manitoba Photographers: 1858 to Present

A list of professional photographers who have worked in Manitoba, from 1858 to the present, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Gordon Goldsborough & Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.