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Jessie Chow at work - c. 1940s

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. early 1940s, Vancouver. Photo of Jessie Chow working in Yucho Chow Studio. Jessie, the daughter of Yucho Chow, was the main colourist. She hand painted black and white photos.”

Chow - Helena (nee Wong)

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Late 1930s, Vancouver. Full-length studio portrait of Helena (Wong) Chow, who was married to Peter Chow. She was born in Banff, Alberta in 1917. Her husband, Peter Chow, was oldest son of commercial photographer Yucho Chow. Peter took over the running of the studio when he father died in November 1949. He operated the business with his brother Philip Chow, until they both retired in 1986. Helena and Peter had eight children.”

Mabel Chow Ng - c. 1918

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. 1918, Vancouver. Photo of Mabel Chow in the studio at 23 West Pender, Vancouver. Mabel was Yucho Chow’s oldest daughter and spent many years working with him as his main assistant.”

Jessie Chow - w storefront - June 24, 1945

Collector/curator’s description reads: “June 24, 1945, Vancouver. Photo of Jessie Chow, youngest daughter of Yucho Chow, standing outside the 518 Main Street studio. Jessie worked as the colourist in the studio, using oils to hand paint black and white photos.”

Jessie Chow - 1945 - colourized

Collector/curator’s description reads: “December 1945, Vancouver. Portrait photo of Jessie Chow, third and youngest daughter of Yucho Chow. Jessie worked for many years in Yucho Chow Studio as the colourist. This is a black and white photo that was colourized by hand by Jessie using oil paints.”

Jessie Chow portrait - 1934

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1934, Vancouver. Hand-painted photo of Jessie Chow, daughter of Yucho Chow. Jessie was Yucho's third and youngest daughter. She worked at Yucho Chow Studios for many years as the colourist: hand painting black and white photos. Another, larger version of this same photo was painted by hand.”

Jessie Chow in costume - 1932

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. 1932, Vancouver. Studio photo of Jessie Chow, daughter of Yucho Chow, dressed in a Chinese costume. Jessie was the main colourist for the studio, using oils to hand paint black and white photographs.”

Jessie Chow in costume - 1936

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1936, Vancouver. Full-length photo of Jessie Chow, daughter of Yucho Chow, dressed in a Chinese costume. She wore this costume while sitting on a float that was part of the City of Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee celebration. Yucho Chow had helped decorate the float, the photo of which appears in the Yucho Chow Studio family fonds [described under identifier 2021-034.577]."

Jessie and Rose Chow - c. 1937

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. 1937, Vancouver. Hand painted photo of Jessie (left) and Rose Chow, who were the daughters of photographer Yucho Chow. Jessie worked in the studio and becames the main colourist, using oils to hand paint black and white photographs.”

Zesko - Helen - 1948

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1948, Vancouver. Full portrait of Helen Zesko (nee Klimec). B: Nov. 12, 1912 [1922?], d: Nov. 3, 2012. In 1942 she married David Zesko.”

Unidentified Caucasian woman - 1943

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1943, Vancouver. Photo of an unidentified, middle-aged Caucasian woman wearing glasses. Her dress has embroidery and looks similar to those worn by Polish or Ukrainian women. Some handwritten notes on the photo frame read: ‘Love from Missy. 1943’.”

Shori - Janki early 1930s seated

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Early 1930s, Vancouver. Photo of Janki Shori, a South Asian woman of Hindu descent. Later in life, she would become instrumental in bringing Bollywood films to screen in the Vancouver region. She was married to Jogi Ram Shori who owned the New Delhi Cabaret during the 1960s.”

Shori - Janki early 1930s standing

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Early 1930s, Vancouver. Photo of Janki Shori, a Hindu woman. Later in life, she would become instrumental in bringing Bollywood films to screen in the Vancouver region. She was married to Jogi Ram Shori who owned the New Delhi Cabaret during the 1960s.

Strowager Lillian Valerie - 1939

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa late 1930s, Vancouver. Photo of a young Lillian Valerie Strowager dressed in a Chinese opera costume. The back of the photo frame is stamped ‘Carrall Laundry. 330 Carrall Street. Side Door. Vancouver. For excellent services and exceptional prices. Suits cleaned and pressed...’.”

Strowager Lillian Valerie - 1939

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa late 1930s, Vancouver. Photo of a young Lillian Valerie Strowager (a caucasian) dressed in a Chinese opera costume. The back of the photo frame is stamped ‘Carrall Laundry. 330 Carrall Street. Side Door. Vancouver. For excellent services and exceptional prices. Suits cleaned and pressed...’.”

Ramsey, Gladys - late 1930s

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1940, Vancouver. Minnie Gladys Ramsey sits for a photo. Born in Indiana, she came to Vancouver to live with her grandmother. Gladys was the niece of Ruth Ramsey Holmes, even though there was only 5 years difference between them. Gladys's parents were never married, so she was a Ramsey. Her given name was Minnie Gladys Ramsey. Her first married name was Minnie Gladys Gordon. Later she was married to a Dickerson. She was born on the 7th day of January 1919 in Keystone, Alberta, and died at the age of 61 years in Colorado Springs, Colorado on March 11, 1980. She died of pancreatic cancer. She had worked as a nurse's aid for 14 years.”

Miotto - Evelyn - c. 1942

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. 1942, Vancouver. Photo of Evelyn Miotto. She was from an Italian-Canadian family that lived in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver.”

Miotto - Evelyn - c. 1949

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1949, Vancouver. Photo of Evelyn Miotto. An Italian-Canadian she lived with her family in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver.”

Lowe - Rosemary (nee Louie)

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1949, Vancouver. Head and shoulders portrait of Rosemary Louie. She was born in Revelstoke. She married Fred Lowe who owned the Krispee Potato Chip Factory, so was later known as Rosemary Lowe.”

Lew - Hoy Moy Sue w unidentified woman

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Late 1920s, Vancouver. Portrait of two young Asian women. On the right is Lew Hoy Moy Sue (also known as Mrs. Ging Lew) soon after she arrived in Canada. She was born February 10, 1900, and came to Canada in February 1920. The woman on the left is unidentified but likely a relative.”

Low - Anita

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1940s, Vancouver. Head and shoulders portrait of Anita Low. The photo is addressed to Frankie, who was a girlfriend of Anita's. The same photo, but colourized, was presented to Norm (who later became Anita's husband).”

Kwan Grace

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1936, Vancouver. Hand-painted full length portrait of Grace Kwan, the Chinese Jubilee Queen. Photo was been taken outside the studio. Kwan was one of several jubilee queens crowned in the year that the City of Vancouver celebrated its 50th anniversary. Grace Kwan was 18-years-old when she was crowned Miss Chinese Jubilee Queen. It was 1936 and was celebrating its 50th birthday. Chinatown joined in the festivities by creating a fair ground complete with gates and pagoda. Grace was crowned local queen in a colourful ceremony at WK Gardens Chop Suey Restaurant. Later, she would go on to marry one of the owners of the WK Gardens, Harold Lim. She died at age 29.”

Fung Wai Man - late 1930s

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Late 1930s, Vancouver. Young unidentified Chinese woman, wearing a cheongsam, sitting on a piano stool. In the inscription, the woman identifies herself as Fung Wai Man. The inscription reads ‘Younger sister Wong Oy Wah, kindly accept. Gifted by Fung Wai Man.’ The photo was found in a collection of images stored at Ming Wo Cookware store in Vancouver's Chinatown.”

Erikson, Ella - 1915

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1914, Vancouver. Photo of new immigrant, Ella Erickson, sitting on a chair. Ella Erickson immigrated to Canada from what is now Estonia or Finland (then part of the Russian Empire) in 1913 (according to census data) and settled in BC. The man who would later become her husband, Pete, came from the same area although he arrived in Canada earlier (1909). Family lore says that he was a merchant seaman who jumped ship and stayed on in Vancouver. So, he may have sent for Ella from Estonia/Finland to marry her. Pete Erickson became a commercial fisherman and the couple lived in various locations on the BC coast. They had no children. Eventually, they settled in Steveston where they made friends with the Rei family. This photo was given by Ella to her friend, Ms. Rei. Ella was remembered by one of Mrs. Rei[‘s] children, John Rei as ‘a nice old lady who was always cheerful and had cookies and milk to offer.’”

Chong - Fannie Lim

Collector/curator’s description reads: “C. early 1930s, Vancouver. Standing portrait of Fannie Lim likely taken before she was married to Shong Buck Chong. November 22, 1913 - August 30, 1967.”

Chong - Peggy (Lee)

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa early 1940s. Black and white portrait of Peggy Chong (who later married and became known as Peggy Lee.”

Chin - Jennie

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1944, Vancouver. Head and shoulder portrait of teenager Jennie Chin. Writing on the cardboard frame reads ‘To Mae and Hank, Love Jennie.’”

Chan - Mary Lee - 1948

Collector/curator’s description reads: “1948, Vancouver. Portrait of Mary Chan who was best known as a community activist in Vancouver's Chinatown and surrounding neigbhourhoods. She and her husband Walter founded SPOTA: the Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association. Along with her daughter Shirley, the Chan family organized the neighbourhood and stopped demolition and the building of a freeway through Vancouver's Chinatown.”

Alvaro - Rosina Agostino - 1941

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1941, Vancouver. Colourized studio portrait of Rosina Alvaro (nee Agostino). This portrait was taken to send copies back to her family in Italy.”

Benedetti - Irma (nee Miotto) - 1947

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1947, Vancouver. Head and shoulders portrait of Irma Miotto (later Irma Benedetti) at age 17. Irma lived in Strathcona and came from an Italian-Canadian family. She went on to marry Ramon Benedetti. Together they owned and operated Benny's Market on Union Street and Princess in Vancouver.”

Alvaro - Rosina Agostino - 1947

Collector/curator’s description reads: “Circa 1947, Vancouver. Portrait of Rosina Alvaro (nee Agostino). Photo was taken to send back to family in Italy. She was 20 at the time and working at the library and Main and Hastings. Her grandfathers had come in the 1800s to work on the railroad, then returned to Italy. Yucho was [so] enamoured with this photo that he displayed it in the studio's front window for about seven years.”

Shori - Janki w other Hindu women - early 1930s

Collector/curator's description reads: “Circa: early 1930s, Vancouver. Photo of four South Asian women (Hindu) and two young children. The women are dressed in traditional garments. Only one person in this photo is identified: the tall woman with glasses is Janki Shori.”

Lee - Ella (Mah) and mother Linda - 1940

Collector/curator's description reads: “C. 1940, Vancouver. Photo of Linda (Eng) Lee (b. 1905) on the right, and her daughter Ella Lee (b. 1924). People often mistook the mother and daughter for sisters. The photo was taken on Ella's 16th birthday. Ella later married Randy Mah and became known as Ella Mah. The photo has been handpainted.”

Hopp - Chin Shee and unknown woman - c.1915

Collector/curator's description reads: “C. 1915, Vancouver. Photo of (Left) Chin Shee (b. 1885-1948) was the wife of farmer Sam Hopp Eng (1860-1935) who owned a farm on Lulu Island. The other woman is believed to be a friend although she appears in a family photo showing Chin Shee, her husband and her children. Likely she was a relative of Chin Shee.”

Goon Wong Shee w U.S. relatives

Collector/curator's description reads: “1922, Vancouver. A pregnant Wong Shee Goon (far right) sits with two women from Portland, Oregon who were visiting Vancouver: Jin How (far left) and an unidentified woman with the surname How. Wong Shee was the second wife of Chinatown businessman Goon Ling Dang. The two How women were relatives of Goon Ling Dang's first wife, who had died. The two women came to visit their former brother-in-law and meet his new, second wife and this photo was taken. Wong Shee was born and raised in China, and was significantly younger than her husband.”

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