TIMMS, Philip




Author Tags: Photography

In 1970 the Vancouver Centennial Museum exhibited and published a collection of photographs of Vancouver that were taken by Timms between 1900 and 1910, with historical text. The 52-page book was entitled Vancouver: the Golden Years, 1900-1910 (The Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association, 1971).

Known for his famous photo of lifeguard Joe Fortes diving into English Bay and a snow-covered scene of horse-drawn vehicles at Georgia & Granville (now used for the Vancouver Public Library for its Christmas card), pioneer photographer Philips Timms was the Fred Herzog of his era.

With images collected by Fred Thirkell and Bob Scullion, Philip Timm’s Vancouver, 1900-1910 (Heritage 2007 $39.95) reflects Vancouver and its environs (Burnaby, Britannia, Steveston, Eburne, Port Moody, New Westminster) from one century before, often incorporating scenes of everyday life.

“Philips Simms was something of a Renaissance man,” write Thirkell and Scullion, “with interests stretching into the realms of science, nature and natural history.” A life-long bachelor and vegetarian, Simms was also an ardent musician and amateur anthropologist who dearly wished to serve as the city’s first archivist.

Chiefly employed in a printing business (Alpha Press) started by his older brother, Philip Timms lived mostly at 1842 Charles Street near Commercial Drive. He eventually donated his folding Gundlach-Manhattan Optical Company camera, made in 1902, to the Vancouver Museum in 1968 and died in Burnaby in 1973.

Timms 1-894974-18-2

[BCBW 2007] "Photography"