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About The Books

A few years ago, a friend who has a 'junk to the dump' business brought me a collection of historic films and photographs. It made me think of the sheer amount of our history that must be going to landfill sites on an annual basis. This revelation prompted me to collaborate with Foto Art Camera Shop and Ginger Press to create 'A Portrait of Owen Sound: Photographs of J James 1905-1955. The book was an instant success, and was the first in a series of far!

Richard J. Thomas
A Portrait of Owen Sound

ISBN-0-921773-07-2 (bound)

ISBN-0-921773-09-9 (paperback)

John James arrived in Owen Sound in 1905 to set himself up as a commercial and portrait photographer. For the following 50 years he documented this vibrant, growing city, with its busy harbour thriving industial sector and lively downtown. In the early days, he would strap his camera equipment onto a bicycle and pedal to photo-shoot locations; in the winter he would rent a horse and cutter. In 1911, James became one of the first Owen Sounders to own an automobile, with the purchase of a Ford. 


A Portrait of Owen Sound celebrates the work of John James. His photographs are an extraordinary and diverse historic record of Owen Sound's early years. 

Richard J. Thomas
Owen Sound: The Community View

ISBN-978-1-897502-02-0 (hardcover)

ISBN-978-1-897502-03-7 (softcover)

When Owen Sounders were asked to search their attics and basements for  early images of the city, they responded with hundreds of fascinating and unusual photographs. Their pictures document not only the growth of a bustling harbour town, they also demonstrate the changes in cameras and photography. 

Richard J. Thomas
A Photographers View of Owen Sound

ISBN-978-1-897502-11-2 (hardcover)

ISBN-978-1-897502-12-9 (softcover)

This collection of photographs by Gerry MacDonald shows Owen Sound from 1955 to 1974. McDonald's work reveals a vibrant city with an active downtown and strong industrial growth. Owen Sounders are shown at work and at play - on the assembly line at Circle Bar Hosiery and swimming in the tanks in Harrison Park. Beautifully reproduced, these photographs indicate Owen sound was a friendly place where people gathered for political, musical and social reasons. 

Richard J. Thomas
100 Years of Pleasure: The Story of Harrison Park 1912-2012

ISBN-978-1-897502-29-7 (hardcover)

ISBN-978-1-897502-20-3 (softcover)

This collection of photographs chronicles 100 years of the "gem of Owen Sound", Harrison Park. Many generations of Owen Sounders and visitors have strong memories of time spent in this wondeerful place of beauty where nature provides the perfect backdrop for picnicking, camping, skiiing, skating, swimming, tobogganning, hiking and relaxing. 100 Years of Pleasure captures the magic of this very special part of Owen Sound. 

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