Harbeck's 1907 Film, Complete
At last, here is the entire film that William Harbeck shot in Victoria in 1907.
For background on Harbeck's fascinating life, see my previous post here. As I mentioned at the time, it's possible to see part of this film in the downtown Hudson's Bay Company store. But that version is incomplete, and confusingly intercut with footage from Vancouver. This is everything Harbeck shot in Victoria, including footage taken from a streetcar travelling through downtown. And it's certainly easier to watch the film on the web instead of navigating the Bay's furniture department.
Some notes accompanying the Library and Archives Canada DVD:
[This was a] panorama or panoramic, a very popular attraction in nickelodeons in the early days of film exhibition, in which scenes were filmed from the front of a moving vehicle, often a railway train. The film comprises street scenes filmed from the front of moving streetcars and harbour scenes filmed from moving watercraft. The streets travelled by streetcar are Douglas (heading south), west on to Yates, and south again on Government. Seen are the Empress Hotel, where construction is nearing completion, the Parliament Buildings, the CPR piers and sheds, and Laurel Point. Automobiles, bicycles, horse-drawn vehicles, and other streetcars are in evidence. [The vehicles are travelling on the left side of the street because British Columbia didn't switch to right-hand drive until 1921.]UPDATE (April 10, 2009): There's been quite a bit of interest in Harbeck's work lately. The University of Victoria's history department has created an entire website about the film, with an annotated version online indicating the various landmarks. As well, the Hallmark Society has prepared its own interactive website dedicated to the film. The society will officially launch the site to celebrate their 35th birthday on Saturday, April 18, at 2pm, in their offices at #18 Centennial Square.
Seen from the water are Victoria's inner harbour with the ships of the sealing fleet tied side by side, the Point Ellice Bridge, the Gorge, and the Tillicum Bridge over the "Reversing Falls" (with a prominent view of a rock which has since been blasted away), Selkirk Water and Halkett Island (also known as Island of the Dead), the Johnson Street Bridge with a steam-hauled passenger train of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway crossing it, the factories of the British America Paint Company and the B.C. Soap Works at Laurel Point, the Pendray House, CPR ferries, and more views of the Parliament Buildings, the Empress Hotel, and the Customs House.