X15787 | On 8th Avenue, Calgary, Alberta

Photograph - Lantern slide
On 8th Avenue, Calgary, Alberta
About 1915, 20th century
8.1 x 8.2 cm
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Calgary, Alberta, became a city in 1894 and over the next three years would become a commercial and transportation center. By 1897, the city boasted a population of 4000, with the Canadian Pacific Railway moving passengers and freight westward to the Pacific ports. The Rocky Mountains to the west, the crisp, dry air, the treeless land and the frigid cold greeted a young New Brunswick lawyer, Richard Bedford Bennett (1870-1947), in January 1897.

The Methodist Sunday school teacher and bachelor must have stood out sharply against such a background. This teetotaler with his keen sense of dress and his overly polite manner distinguished himself from the freethinking uncouth ranchers and farmers of the brash new city. But their self-confident nature soon rubbed off on Bennett. His capacity for hard work, his attention to detail and his determined fighting spirit soon earned him a respected place among the professional business sectors of the city.

A year after his arrival in Calgary, Bennett became a Conservative member of the Territorial Assembly. In 1900, he ran for a federal seat, but lost.

  • What

    A lantern slide is a small transparent glass plate that is projected onto a large flat surface.

  • Where

    Calgary's 8th Avenue remains one of the city's main east-west arteries in the downtown business and entertainment district.

  • When

    Lantern slides remained popular from the 19th century through the 1950s, when transparencies and 35-mm slides became more economical.

  • Who

    In the 1840s, the Philadelphia daguerreotypists William and Frederick Langenheim began experimenting with an apparatus to display their photographic images to larger audiences; these later became known as lantern slides.