Camera Workers, 1858-1950

The British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950

Thompson, Stephen Joseph

Male 1864 - 1929  (65 years)


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  • Name Thompson, Stephen Joseph 
    Born 27 May 1864  Bailieboro, ON Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Where Active (Non-Specific Address) Before 1886  Port Hope, ON Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Business Address/Year Oct 1886-?  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    as Thompson and Bovill 
    Address:
    Columbia St.
    opposite Colonial Hotel
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Business Address/Year Dec 1897-1900+  Vancouver, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    initially a branch studio 
    Address:
    610 Granville St.
    Vancouver, BC
    Canada 
    Business Address/Year 1887-1890  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    as Thompson and Bovill until 1889 
    Address:
    Columbia St.
    Hamley Block
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Home Address/Year 1889-1890  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    Agnes St.
    Spring Villes
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Home Address/Year 1891-1894  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    221 Columbia St.
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Home Address/Year 1895  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    Burr Block
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Business Address/Year 1890-1898  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    destroyed by fire 11 Sep 1898 
    Address:
    620 Columbia St.
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Died 07 Aug 1929  Vancouver, BC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Association Thompson and Bovill (Relationship: Partner) 
    Association B.C. Photo and Fine Art Studio (Relationship: Manager) 
    Association Canfield Francis Orra (Relationship: Employee) 
    Association Easthope, Edwin Frederick (Relationship: Employee) 
    Association Ford, Lillian M. (Relationship: Employee (retoucher)) 
    Association French, May (Relationship: Employee (retoucher)) 
    Association Timms, Philip Thomas (Relationship: Employee) 
    Association Ross, Helen (Relationship: Employee) 
    Association Guest, John James (Relationship: Employee) 
    Association Wood, Jessie (Relationship: Employee) 
    Association Smith, Charles Henry (Relationship: Printer; Commercial (assistant)) 
    Association Howison, J.W. (Relationship: Employee) 
    Person ID I40  Camera Workers | T, vol. 1, 1858-1900
    Last Modified 30 Dec 2016 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBusiness Address/Year - initially a branch studio - Dec 1897-1900+ - Vancouver, BC Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 07 Aug 1929 - Vancouver, BC Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Photographer S.J. Thompson in a pensive pose.
    Photographer S.J. Thompson in a pensive pose.

    Documents
    S.J. Thompson's studio, 620 Columbia St., New Westminster.
    S.J. Thompson's studio, 620 Columbia St., New Westminster.
    S.J. Thompson's studio was destroyed in the New Westminster Fire on September 11, 1898. Fortunately, Thompson had opened a new studio in neighboring Vancouver in December 1897 and had moved his landscape negatives there. This lithograph is possibly from the West Shore periodical. Image courtesty of BC Archives, Visual Records call number B-09366.
    S.J. Thompson's ad, <i>News-Advertiser</i> (Vancouver), 1896 05 31.
    S.J. Thompson's ad, News-Advertiser (Vancouver), 1896 05 31.
    The Point Ellice Bridge collapse occurred on 26 May 1896. Remarkably, S.J. Thompson happened to be in Victoria and was able to be on the scene, according to this ad, within 10 minutes. Over four dozen men, women and children were killed in this tragic event.

  • Notes 
    • STATUS: Commercial.
    • BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: Arriving in New Westminster from, it is believed, New York City, he set up a partnership with one or both of the Bovill brothers as Thompson and Bovill late in Oct 1886. By 1889 he was operating on his own. He established a branch studio in Vancouver in Dec 1897. For a while after the New Westminster studio had been destroyed by fire on 11 Sep 1898, he maintained a Vancouver and a New Westminster studio. He was married on 29 Dec 1897 to Constance Victoria Clute in New Westminster.

      Thompson was a prolific and versatile photographer who was equally at home in portrait and landscape work. He photographed extensively along the Canadian Pacific Railway throughout the 1890s. Thompson visited the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Two years later he was commissioned to obtain views of farms around Edmonton. In 1898 he accompanied an official expedition to northern BC and Wrangel led by the Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Louis Coste.
    • IDENTIFYING MARKS: Thompson identified his negatives several different ways. The most common are explained here: before relocating to Vancouver negatives titled and marked "S.J. Thompson, Photo., New Westminster, B.C." after moving to Vancouver negatives titled and marked "S.J. Thompson, Photo., Vancouver" at some point Thompson began numbering his negatives (these numbers may begin in the 300s and proceed to at least the 1350s). After opening a branch studio in New Westminster, negatives numbered, captioned and marked "Thompson, Vancouver and New Westminster"; some negatives not captioned but marked "Thompson Photo."; some negatives numbered (e.g., "T747" or "765T" ), captioned and marked "Shaw Bros. Ltd." (Vancouver firm). The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Archives) has a print with "S. J. Thomson" [sic] on the verso (ABA print PA10-89).
    • REFERENCES: MAL87; WIL89; WIL90; HEN91; WIL92; WIL93; WIL94; WIL95; HEN97; WIL97; HEN98; HEN99; WIL99; HEN00; World, 1893 07 10/1; News-Advertiser, 1895 08 07/6; 1897 12 19/8; 1897 12 30/6; 1898 02 27/8; 1898 04 15/8; Province, 1929 08 07/1 (obit.); Who's Who In Western Canada (1911); Letter, Joan Schwartz to Mattison, 1978 01 04; Mattison (1987b); Letter, Mrs. E. French (great-niece), London, ON, to Mattison.