R and P: William Harbeck. CAN / USA 1907
Print: Library and Archives Canada. Australia National Film & Sound Archive fonds
“On May 7, 1907 a Seattle film maker named William Harbeck came up to Vancouver to make a movie. (…)The BC Electric Railway Co. laid on a special streetcar, and Harbeck his camera firmly bolted down stood at the front. Then, hand-cranking the camera at a steady rate, he is off. The car rattles north along Granville Street from Georgia down to Hastings, turns east onto Hastings and heads toward Carrall.(…)The film carries us along Hastings, then Carrall, Cordova, Cambie, Robson (all houses, not a shop to be seen) and Davie. The streets are boiling with people, horse-drawn carts and bicycles. (We see precisely one automobile along the route . . . and it’s parked.) The Vancouver of 1907 was a thriving, energetic city. The population was climbing rapidly, jumping from the 27,000 in the 1901 census to the 100,000 of 1910. We see in these flickering images a city that is in the process of quadrupling its population in 10 years.
As for William Harbeck, he had one more interesting film assignment. While in Europe, he was hired by England’s White Star Line to record shipboard life during the maiden voyage of the company’s huge new liner. Those films however, were never to be seen. Harbeck was one of hundreds who lost their lives when the White Star Line’s Titanic sank on the night of April 14, 1912.”
The History of Metropolitan Vancouver