As a part of it’s search for the ‘lost’ photographs of L.B. Foote, U of M Press is asking artists and historians and photographers and politicians and art historians and journalists to tell us about their favourite Foote photo. We’re documenting this search on a blog called Lost Foote Photos
Jim Blanchard, the author of two U of M Press titles, contributed this piece about Foote’s photograph of The Telegram newsroom:
“This is one of my favourite Foote photos. It catches a group of newspaper employees in what I suppose is the newsroom of The Telegram newspaper in their building which still sits at the corner of Albert and McDermot.
The men are posing a little for Foote, maybe joking with him as someone from the rival daily. The big fellow on the left side of the table seems to be saying something that some of them think is funny. Some of the others are simply working. Their tools are paper pads and pencils, paste bottles and scissors, the latter on a chain so that everyone can share the same pair. There is phone in the left foreground but other than that there are no signs of modern equipment.
Out of this room came, day after day, a fine newspaper with pages full of well-written, detailed reporting on what was going on in the city and out in the world. The quality of the writing was very high and if you browse through The Telegram – paper copies of The Telegram are still available at the Millennium Library – you’ll find very few errors in spelling or grammar.
Many of the men in the picture may have been junior employees, like copy boys, who crowded in to get into the picture. But there are definitely a few ink-stained wretches here, men who look like they have been at it for quite a few years.
It’s a lively, happy sort of picture that captures something of who these men really were and that’s why I like it.”
Jim Blanchard is the Head of Reference Services at Elizabeth Dafoe Library at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of two award-winning UMP titles, Winnipeg 1912 (2005) and Winnipeg’s Great War: A City Comes of Age (2010). (Both titles included Foote photos.)