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Series S632 - Engineering Department miscellaneous photographs

[Labour Day Parade: C. of V. Pump] [Labour Day Parade: Street Cleaning Dept. 1914 10 Years Progress] [Labour Day Parade: City Scavenging Dept. 1914 10 Years Progress] [Labour Day Parade: Vancouver Sewer System] [Labour Day Parade: Waterworks Progress 1890 to 1914 First Narrows Submerged Mains] [Labour Day Parade: Waterworks Progress 1890 to 1914 First Narrows Submerged Mains] [Labour Day Parade: Waterworks Progress 1890 to 1914] [Labour Day Parade: Waterworks Progress 1890 to 1914 First Narrows Submerged Mains] [Labour Day Parade: Vancouver Sewer System] [Labour Day Parade: Street Cleaning Dept. 1914 Ten Years Progress] [Labour Day Parade: Street Cleaning Dept. 1914] [Labour Day Parade: Waterworks Progress 1890 to 1914] [Labour Day Parade: Street Cleaning Department 1904] [Labour Day Parade: Street Cleaning Dept. 1914 10 Years Progress] [Labour Day Parade: C. of V. Pump] [Labour Day Parade] [Rain-damaged pavement at Main and 13th] [Rain-damaged pavement at Main and 13th] [West Vancouver Ferries] [Damaged brickwork on wall at Granville Lane and Smithe St.] [Damaged brickwork on wall at Granville Lane and Smithe St.] [Damaged brickwork on wall at Granville Lane and Smithe St.] [Depression in pavement at Hastings and Seymour] [Depression in pavement at Hastings and Seymour] Capilano log jam, lower creek Capilano log jam, lower creek Capilano log jam, lower creek Capilano log jam, lower creek Capilano Creek [retaining?] wall looking downstream from main channel Capilano [Creek] looking upstream from north part of island Capilano [Creek] beneath [retaining?] wall at south end, looking eastward Capilano [Creek] West Channel looking upstream from lower end Capilano lower section of retaining wall [Capilano Creek bed] [Hastings Townsite fire in bush?] [Blasting Accident at Hastings Townsite] [Blasting Accident at Hastings Townsite] [100 block Pender St.] EL [electrical? ]Pole, Abbot and Pender [Homer Street looking south from Pender Street] [Barber shop on Granville Street] [800 block Granville Street] [Corner of] Sey[mour] and Pender [People on street in front of Union Bank of Canada at Hastings and Main] [Pender Street in Chinatown] [Looking west towards the southwest corner of the 2400 Block Kingsway at Broadway] [200 block Kingsway] [Construction at 800 block Hastings St. E.] [300 block Main St. E.] Melville St.
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Engineering Department miscellaneous photographs

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  • Photograph

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  • 1910-1918 (Creation)
    Vancouver (B.C.). Engineering Services

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Physical description

131 photographs : b&w glass negatives ; 12 x 16 and 16 x 12 cm or smaller

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Administrative history

Since its foundation, Engineering Services (or, as it was referred to until 1995, the Engineering Department) has been the largest department in the City administration, providing many of the City's mandated functions for developing and maintaining the City's infrastructure of roads and bridges, waterworks, sewers and sanitation.

The Vancouver Incorporation Act required the appointment of an engineer, and the City did so under Bylaw #1 (1886). Despite technological changes, the department has remained remarkably consistent in functional responsibilities: over the years, the Engineering Department/Engineering Services has been responsible for the construction and maintenance of streets, lanes, sewers, water works, and bridges, as well as for traffic management, sanitation, garbage collection, and parking. With the rapid growth of the city, the Department’s role changed from a supervisory role (overseeing and inspecting the work of contractors) to having full-scale operations divisions.

The City Engineer first reported to the Board of Works (1886-1956), then to the Board of Administration (1956-1974), and subsequently to the City Manager (1974-).

There were a few instances of major reorganization in the history of the Engineering Department. Following a departmental review by external consultants in 1954, the department underwent a major restructuring of its organizational framework. Formerly, divisions had been based on the type of operation each performed. The review called for three basic divisions. One major division was for administration and design and the other for operations. Each of these divisions would oversee the different functions as they related to design or operation. A third division for traffic management continued to exist in the same fashion as before the rearrangement. This structure remained in place for only a few years.
Another major reorganization occurred in 1966 when the Electrical Department was incorporated as a division within the Engineering Department (impetus for this change came from the formation of the Permits and Licenses Department which took over inspection activities while Engineering took over engineering and works aspects.)

The following individuals have served as City Engineer (from 1995, the City Engineer was also referred to as “General Manager” of the then renamed Engineering Services):
• John P. Lawson, 1886-1890;
• Henry B. Warren, 1890-1891;
• Thomas H. Tracy, 1891-1905;
• William A. Clement, 1905-1911;
• Frederick L. Fellowes, 1911-1924;
• Charles Brakenridge, 1924-1946;
• Charles A. Battershill, 1946-1949;
• John C. Oliver, 1949-1956;
• Randolph M. Martin, 1956-1971;
• Gordon H. Lawson, 1971-1974;
• William H. Curtis, 1974-1991;
• David Rudberg, 1991-[2004]
• Tom Timm, [2004]–2010
• Peter Judd 2010–2015

Functions, occupations and activities:

The broad range of functions of the Department has included:

  1. Streets and bridges design and maintenance, including snow/ice removal and sanding;
  2. Sewerage and drainage planning and maintenance,
  3. Water supply and distribution,
  4. Refuse collection and disposal,
  5. Transportation planning and traffic management, including accommodating for special events,
  6. Street lighting and utilities,
  7. Inspection responsibilities (until the creation of the Permits and Licenses Department),
  8. City planning responsibilities (under the direction of the Town Planning Commission) until the creation of the Planning Department in 1954,
  9. Street Decoration (in conjunction with the Street Decoration Committee) since 1954.

Custodial history

The negatives were held by City Engineering Services until ca. 1965, when they were left behind during a move. They were then retained by Mr. Douglas Beaton, a long-time employee in City Engineering Services, who presented them to the City of Vancouver Archives in November, 1999.

Scope and content

Series consists of glass negatives on a variety of subjects pertaining to City Engineering Services. These include building, road and railway construction; Vancouver street scenes; damage to roads and structures; scenes of the city after heavy snowfalls; the 1914 Labour Day Parade; pipelines (probably sewerage pipelines); and a blasting accident and fire at Hastings Townsite. Series also includes some negatives taken outside Vancouver, including views of Capilano River and North and West Vancouver Ferry docks.

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Presented by Douglas Beaton in November, 1999.


Photographs in this series have been assigned item numbers begining with the prefix "CVA 789"

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Item list available at CVA 789.

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No further accruals expected.

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