by Bob Reid
The book features photographs taken over a century ago by David Eason, sometime superintendent of the Trent Canal which have been paired with Bob Reid’s colour photographs capturing the same setting today. The photographs from both eras are outstanding but when contrasted with photos over a century apart the questions raised are fascinating. Some scenes have changed remarkably. Some dams have been removed or consolidated. Some bridges have been replaced with modern concrete structures. The Hunter Street Bridge was replaced with a stunning state of the art bridge that has now had its life extended. Eason captured the Kirkfield Lift Lock on the day of its official opening. Sometimes the main change is a new or updated generating station.
The reminders of the past are fully evident.
Happily, Bob has placed the modern picture on the opposite page. This encourage the viewer to reflect on what is similar and what is different. Sometimes Bob has had to improvise on where to stand to catch the Eason view.
Several Eason photographs have been added at the end of the book. Altogether there are 62 Eason photographs paired with a Reid photo, and another 51 Eason photos in the appendix. This is a visual
As well, the Eason-Reid book has an interesting narrative written by Andrew H. Wilson on the engineering history of the canal, written in 2017 and used here by permission of the Engineering Initute of Canada. Reid has added a chronology highlighting some of the key developments in the history of the canal.
This is an extraordinary book that will appeal to canal buffs, local historians and to those who will admire the work of two fine photographers.