BIRRELL, Andrew J.




Author Tags: 1850-1900, Photography

Andrew Birrell, as the Head of Acquisitions of the National Photography Collection in the Public Archives of Canada, edited Benjamin Baltzley: Photographs and Journal of an Expedition through British Columbia, 1871 (Toronto: Coach House Press, 1978).

An American from Ohio, Baltzley worked for the William Notman studio in Montreal. He accompanied the expedition to the North Thompson region of B.C. led by Alfred Selwyn, Director of the Geographical Survey of Canada, to help investigate the feasibility of a railway route from Kamloops to the Yellowhead Pass. Arriving in Victoria from San Francisco, they reached Yale by steamer, and walked along the wagon road to Lytton, but their packhorse train that left from Kamloops on August 19th never reached the Yellowhead Pass as planned. Horses were abandoned and the men struggled to return to Kamloops by mid-November. Having lugged hundreds of pounds of photographic equipment and materials, Baltzley published his memoir of the ill-fated trip in the Montreal Gazette a year later. Birrell combined Baltzley's writing and photos in 1978.

[BCBW 2010] "Photography"