Published on January 21, 2008
The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Victoria Newspaper BoomAn Exhibition for the Second W. Kaye Lamb Lecture January 27, 2005: The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Victoria Newspaper Boom An Exhibition for the Second W. Kaye Lamb Lecture January 27, 2005 Prepared for UBC Rare Books and Special Collections by Jeremiah Saunders Student of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, UBC With materials purchased by the Lamb Endowment Most slides automatically change at approximately 30 second intervals. To change a slide quickly, left-click once on the slide with your mouse. To view all eight slides should take approximately 3 minutes. Best viewed on screen resolutions of 800 x 600 Made with PowerPoint 2000 British Columbia’s First Printing Press: British Columbia’s First Printing Press In 1856, the first printing press arrived in British Columbia. Received by Bishop Demers, the press was supposed to spread the word of God. For two years it only collected dust, waiting for a printer to come to Victoria. Right: Overview of the contents of the display case used to tell the story of some of the earliest British Columbia newspapers. British Columbia’s Gold Rush of 1858: Victoria Booms : British Columbia’s Gold Rush of 1858: Victoria Booms In 1858, news of the discovery of gold in the Fraser River Canyon earlier in the year reached San Francisco. Gold would bring thousands of American and other miners to Victoria. Approximately 25,000 gold miners migrated to Victoria between April and July in 1858. In six months, 200 buildings were constructed. On April 3, 1858 the 450 passengers of the Commodore, mostly American miners, disembarked in Victoria. The miners outnumbered the colony’s Caucasian residents. Right: Early map of gold trail. Far Right: One of the first printings of the Victoria Gazette, accompanied with scales. British Columbia’s Newspaper Boom of 1858 : British Columbia’s Newspaper Boom of 1858 Besides attracting gold miners from far afield, the gold rush attracted British Columbia’s first editors, printers, and newspaper publishers. Frederick Marriott of San Francisco was one of the first to arrive in Victoria. Brushing off the dust from Bishop Demers’ press, Marriott printed three new newspapers in 1858: the Vancouver Island Gazette, the News Letter, and BC’s first French newspaper Le Courrier de la Nouvelle Calédonie. But the honour of the first printing in BC goes to James W. Towne and Abel Whitton, both from San Francisco, who produced the Victoria Gazette on June 25, 1858 on a press they had imported. Top: One of the first printings of the Victoria Gazette, accompanied with scales. Printing Technology (Part 1): Printing Technology (Part 1) The first printing press to arrive in Victoria was Bishop Demers’ iron hand press in 1856. The press was hand powered. With two experienced pressmen, 250 impressions could be made each hour. The Victoria Gazette, the first newspaper printed in British Columbia, most likely used an Adams power platen press. Horse power was typically used at first. With an Adams power platen press, 500 to 1,000 impressions could be made per hour. Right: Assortment of newspaper invoices showing transition of ownership. Printing Technology (Part 2): Printing Technology (Part 2) In 1862, the British Colonist, under Amor De Cosmos, installed a cylinder press, the first of its kind in Western Canada. Representing a “major advance” in printing technology, a cylinder press could produce 1,500 to 2,000 impressions per hour. In 1876, the British Colonist, under D. W. Higgins, became the first newspaper to use steam power to run the cylinder press. With a cylinder press running on steam power, the newspaper could produce upwards of 5,000 impressions per hour. The success of the British Colonist can be partly attributed to its constant upgrading of new technology. Top: Note the announcement of “Steam… Printing” in the Colonist. Authorship: Authorship Created by Jeremiah Saunders, Joint MAS/MLIS Candidate School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, UBC Supervision by Ralph Stanton, Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian Rare Books and Special Collections, UBC April 2005 Image Credit: Image Credit All images have a resolution of 1600 x 1200 as original photographs using a digital camera. Photographs taken by Jeremiah Saunders on 27 January 2005. For permission to use any of the images, and text, in this presentation, please contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information relating to the items show in the digital photographs, please see the web site: http://www.library.ubc.ca/spcoll/displays.html
The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Victoria Newspaper Boom The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Victoria Newspaper Boom An Exhibition for the Second W. Kaye
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