Collection 6-1999 - Alf Fowler collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alf Fowler collection

General material designation

  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA MCK 6-1999

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

104 b&w photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Alfred Fowler was born in 1903, in Toronto, Ontario. At the age of 23 he began working for Canadian National Railways (C.N.R.) in the company's telegraph accounting department. He remained employed there for 45 years, with the exception of the years 1940-45 when he served with the Royal Canadian Artillery during World War II. During his service he was stationed at Shilo, Manitoba, where he met his future wife, Elsie Bowen. They were married late in 1944, and in 1945 returned to Toronto. Alfred remained in Toronto until his death in 1969. Throughout his life, Mr. Fowler was an ardent amateur photographer.

Name of creator


Administrative history

Davidson & Gowen was owned and operated by Alexander Davidson and Frank Gowen. Their studio was located at 115 Tenth Street and specialized in photography and framing. When Gowen moved his family to Vancouver in spring 1913, the Davidson & Gowen Studio became Davidson Photography.

Custodial history

All 104 prints in this collection were created by Davidson & Gowen, a photography business located in Brandon. It seems likely that they were created for display and/or for commercial sale as part of the November 7, 1912 "Harvest" edition of the Brandon Sun. Alfred Fowler acquired a copy of the Davidson and Gowan prints during his stay at C.F.B. Shilo during the Second World War. In 1946 Alfred Fowler left Brandon returning to his home in Toronto. With the death of Alfred in 1969 the collection passed to his wife, Elsie Fowler. Elsie died in 1987, also in Toronto. Her estate passed to her nephew, Byron Forsyth, a Brandon resident. Byron brought the collection back to Brandon and in 1999 donated it to the McKee Archives.

Scope and content

The prints concern various subjects in Brandon, Manitoba c. 1911-12 including Brandon residences, store fronts, streetscapes, and rail yards in the city. These images provide a visual record of Brandon in the years just before the Great War.

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Language of description

  • English

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