30 Hilarious Photographs Capture Canadians Have Fun While at Work and Play From the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

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Reuben R. Sallows (1855-1937) was born and raised on a Huron County farm in Canada. He moved to Goderich in 1876, becoming a traveling salesman for local photographer Robert R. Thompson. Two years later, Sallows became Thompson’s apprentice, and, in 1881, bought the business.

During the next decade, Sallows developed a reputation as a craftsman in formal portraiture, pastoral photography, and stereoscopic images. Besides building a substantial business, Sallows subscribed to the professional trade journals and was an active member in the Huron Photographers’ and Canadian Photographers’ Associations.

A rogue photographer, Sallows did not wait for clients to enter his studio. He took his camera everywhere: in his black Ford Model A truck, in a hired canoe and on the newly installed trains that crisscrossed Canada between 1881 and 1937. He photographed people at work and play in the small towns, farmlands and in the expansive Canadian wilderness of Ontario, the western rovinces and northern Quebec.

His photographs are full of detail and drama, lightened at times with a bit of humor. Below are some of interesting photographs from his work.

Posed picture of four men and bicycles after crash on path, 1897; three women in background; trees frame view on either side.

A boy holding a stick contemplates hitting backside of a large man, Jonathan Miller who is standing in front of fence reading a newspaper.

Group portrait of five men, some of whom are dressed women’s bathing attire posed on dock in Lake Huron, 1897.

Young boy sits on an overturned pail feeding a piglet with a bottle, 1920.

Two women laying among foliage; both wear long-sleeved blouses with ties at neck; woman in front lays across the lap of the other; two hats in foreground, wide-brimmed straw hat on left, hat trimmed with flowers on right.

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