Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ode to Tigerstedt

ode to Tigerstedt
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Just read an excellent article in the April 30th, 2010 edition of Swerve Magazine about the Tigerstedt Block. Established in 1932 on Centre Street, in the community of Crescent Heights, it has been slated for demolition someday to make way for a new condo/retail complex. I say "someday" because the condo ad sign has been up for a few years. The article also had a small piece about Albert Tigerstedt, a local photographer who set up his studio near the Crescent Heights Senior High School and who was also a photographer in the Canadian Navy during the second World War. Several of his photographs were donated to the Glenbow Museum by his wife when he died, in 1989. I haven't seen the Glenbow collection, but a search through Glenbows online photo archive turned up 39 records shot by Tigerstedt Studios.

I chose to make a black and white photo because, one, it downplays how tattered the sign has become and, two, I figured in 1932 if Mr. Tigerstedt had taken a photo of his sign it would have been shot with black and white film. Here's the color version. Photos of this sign bring out interesting stories. On Flickr, in the comments of Mr. Sable's film noir photo of the sign a woman mentions that her father was one of the photographers at the studio, which prompted someone to post a photo done by Tigerstedt Studios. One of my Flickr contacts remembers when he was a student at Crescent Heights in the '60s how he would visit Mr. Tigerstedt during his lunch hour. The sign said Tigerstedt Studio then, which got me wondering if there was a photo of the original sign somewhere. Like a dog with a squeaky toy, I couldn't drop the idea that I could find that photo somewhere on the 'Net. Like a lot of my searches, I found more than I was searching for.

For instance, Mrs. Tigerstedt's obituary on the Alberta Histories Society web site reads:

TIGERSTEDT - It is with great sadness that the family of Jean Tigerstedt announces her passing on Saturday, November 1, 1997 at the age of 80 years. Jean is survived by her sisters, Margaret Dempster of Calgary and Isabella Hunt of Edmonton. She was predeceased by her loving husband Albert, in 1989, and by her Father and Mother, and brother Robert. Jean was born in Calgary on July 6, 1917, where she attended Normal School. After graduation, she taught in Oyen before returning to Calgary where she married her sweetheart and joined him in his business, "Tigerstedt Studio".

I wonder if she taught at Crescent Heights. Maybe they met when she escorted a group of reluctant students to his photo studio. One can only imagine.

Still, I haven't found a photo of the original sign. Like most things, though, it will probably appear when I stop looking for it.


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