Fonds F0799 - John Henry Gano fonds

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John Henry Gano fonds


  • 1905-1939, predominant 1909-1914 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

229 photographs

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Henry Gano, 1873-1947, was born in DeWitt County, Illinois, USA and raised in Washta, Iowa. He arrived in Vermilion, Alberta in about 1904 and opened a photo studio. In 1906 he homesteaded near Wainwright, Alberta and moved into the town to open a studio in 1909. He married Bessie Enos from Illinois in 1912, and they had three children, Elmer Fulton, Marjorie Oregonia (Williams) and Lavon Virginia (Whiteside). The photo studio in Wainwright was destroyed by fire in 1912, but it was soon rebuilt. Bessie worked in the studio hand-colouring photos. Until John sold the studio in about 1914 to move to the USA he also did contract work taking photos of Grand Trunk Pacific railway construction near Edson, Alberta and taking photos for the dominion government of homestead land improvements. He was also the official photographer for the Wainwright Board of Trade. Between 1914 and 1924 John moved his family between Alberta and the USA a number of times, and then settled in Unity, Saskatchewan to open a studio. After moving back to Wainwright in 1931 and living in Calgary for a short time the Ganos settled in Red Deer, Alberta in 1941. John remained active in photography until his death, and Elmer worked in the studio in the 1930s and 1940s. For further information see "J. H. Gano, Pioneer Photographer" in Alberta History, vol. 28, no. 2 (Spring 1980), p. 20-27.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Purchased from Elmer Gano and gifts of Marjorie Williams, Lavon Whiteside and J.G. Walter, 1961-1980.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of photographs of Wainwright and homesteading in the area; Grand Trunk Pacific Railway construction near Wainwright (1909); National Buffalo Park and wildlife including buffalo and cattalo (ca. 1911); Vermilion (1906); and John and one of his studios (nd).

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Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

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Language and script notes

The material is in English.

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Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

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Notes area


Title based on contents of records.


NA 1603 are copy negatives.


Lavon Whiteside is a docent at Glenbow (1993).

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Thursday, November 09, 2017




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