Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 138 years

 


MHS
Events


Manitoba
History

No. 84


This Old
Elevator


Abandoned
Manitoba


War
Memorials
in Manitoba


Digitized
Local History
Books


Memorable
Manitobans


Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Manitoba Photographers: Hall & Lowe

Link to:
Work locations | Samples | Sources

Photographers

Skene Lowe (1856-1920), James Deakin Hall, Frederick W. Steele

In July 1881, James D. Hall arrived in Winnipeg and, after an abortive partnership with photographer William Johnston, in March 1882 he formed a partnership with 26-year-old Englishman Skene Lowe, who had formerly worked at the Toronto firm of Gagen & Fraser. Hall & Lowe advertised “Indian photos (taken from life), Xmas cards, views of Winnipeg” as well as images of horses, cattle, machinery, and buildings. [1] But they did not confine themselves to taking studio portraits and landscapes around Winnipeg. In 1883:

Messrs. Hall & Lowe, photographers, have had a man along the line of the C.P.R. [Canadian Pacific Railway] east and west taking a series of photographic views. The scenes are not only interesting but novel, and being taken in winter present a pleasing contrast to views of this kind taken elsewhere. Her Majesty’s mail, taken in connection with a couple of dog trains that take it to the Lake Winnipeg country from Selkirk station, makes a nice view. A scene at the end of the track, where men are engaged unloading ties and rails for the C.P.R., with the boarding cars conveniently near, give a good idea of the work of railway construction. Another interesting view is one of the horses and mules of the C.P.R. contractors in their winter quarters at Moosejaw. [2]

The next year, Hall boarded a west-bound train on an adventure to British Columbia where, after a stop in Victoria, he visited his brother who operated the Hudson’s Bay Company store at Fort Simpson. [3] From there, he took a steamer up the coast to Alaska where he was impressed by the beautiful scenery and aboriginal inhabitants, so much so that he planned going back the next year, and seeing country further inland.

British Columbia would ultimately prove a draw for both men. Lowe had established a branch of their operation in Victoria by June 1885 [4]. Their Winnipeg studio was slightly damaged in a fire caused by the explosion of a photographic lamp [5], which may have instigated its closure the next year. Hall opened a new studio at Vancouver in October 1887 [6], and the partnership dissolved in May 1892, when Hall became the sheriff of Vancouver. Hall and Lowe lived out the remainders of their lives in British Columbia.

This rare view of Hall & Lowe’s studio at 497 [499?] Main Street, showing photographs hanging in the window, comes from the background of one of their cabinet cards, shown below in its entirety. Is that one of the proprietors standing in the doorway? We may never know because, at present, no photographs of either photographer have been found.
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Transportation - Red River Cart - 5.

Work locations

Year(s)

Address

1882 to 1885

499 Main Street, Winnipeg

1886 to 1887

461 Main Street, Winnipeg

Samples

Canadian Pacific Railway, Locomotive #91 (front).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Transportation - Railway - 72.

Canadian Pacific Railway, Locomotive #91 (back).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Transportation - Railway - 72.


Ox-drawn Red River cart on the streets of Winnipeg, with the office of Hall & Lowe in the background (front).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Transportation - Red River Cart - 5.

Ox-drawn Red River cart on the streets of Winnipeg, with the office of Hall & Lowe in the background (back).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Transportation - Red River Cart - 5.


Victory arch on Main Street in Winnipeg, 1885 (front).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Winnipeg - Streets - Main 1885 - 4.

Victory arch on Main Street in Winnipeg, 1885 (back).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Winnipeg - Streets - Main 1885 - 4.


Cauchon Block (later, Empire Hotel) on Main Street, Winnipeg (front).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Winnipeg - Hotels - Empire - 1.

Cauchon Block (later, Empire Hotel) on Main Street, Winnipeg (back).
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Winnipeg - Hotels - Empire - 1.


Cabinet photo
Source:
Gordon Goldsborough, 2006-0148 (front)

Cabinet photo
Source:
Gordon Goldsborough, 2006-0148 (back)

Cabinet photo
Source:
Gordon Goldsborough, 2005-0105 (front)

Cabinet photo
Source:
Gordon Goldsborough, 2005-0105 (back)

Cabinet photo
Source:
Gordon Goldsborough, 2006-0129 (front)

Cabinet photo
Source:
Gordon Goldsborough, 2006-0129 (back)

Sources

1. Winnipeg Times, 10 February 1883, page 5.

2. Manitoba Daily Free Press, 24 January 1883, page 8.

3. Winnipeg Times, 30 August 1884, page 1.

4. David Mattison, Camera Workers: The British Columbia, Alaska & Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950. http://members.shaw.ca/bchistorian/cw1858-1950.html.

5. Manitoba Daily Free Press, 13 January 1886.

6. Manitoba Daily Free Press, 19 October 1887.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 May 2014

Manitoba Photographers: 1858 to Present

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

© 2006-2014
Gordon Goldsborough & Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Back to top of page

   


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2017 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.