Fonds 1981-043 - John Bonsall Porter fonds

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John Bonsall Porter fonds

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23 film reels

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Biographical history

John Bonsall Porter was born in Glendale, Ohio on 1 October 1861. He received his engineering degree and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1882 and 1884 respectively. After twelve years of professional work, in 1896 he was appointed Macdonald Professor of Mining and Metallurgy at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, a position he held until his retirement in 1927. In that position he gained international recognition as an expert on mining and authored a number of influential reports, including Coal Mines of Cape Breton and the six volume Coals of Canada. Porter married Ethel Harding circa 1888. They had one child, Elizabeth. Dr. Porter first visited Guysborough, Nova Scotia in 1898. In 1900 he purchased an old farm there and used it as a summer residence. Following his retirement, Dr. Porter travelled extensively, visiting Europe, Bermuda, Jamaica, Nassau and Central America and wintering in La Jolla, California. He was an talented photographer and became a keen amateur filmmaker as film making technology became more accessible in the late 1920s. His film subjects were his home, his family and his travels. John Bonsall Porter died on 16 April 1944 in Montreal, Quebec.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of twelve films taken by Porter of his travels to Europe, California (Lindberg;s first glider flight at LaJolla), Hawaii, the Caribbean, and life in Montreal and Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, including the Sonora Timber Company and hay making with oxen at Larry's River.

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Donated by Porter's grandson, Dr. Lauder Brunton, on 29 June 1981.


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