“When I started back in 1934,” Foncie Pulice recalled in that interview, “there were six companies in Vancouver, but when we really started to go was during the war. The public couldn’t get film, you see, so the street photographers were all they had. Servicemen would come home on leave, they’d have pictures taken. Families would get together, we’d take their picture. At one time, I was taking 4,000 to 5,000 pictures every day.”
On September 27, 1979, street photographer Foncie Pulice took his last picture. He and his Electric-Photo camera had been a familiar sight on city streets for a jaw-dropping 45 years. He’d begun as a 20-year-old away back in 1934 as an assistant to street photographer Joe Iaci, and had taken millions of photographs since. (It is possible Foncie Pulice photographed more people than anyone who ever lived.) “I said I’d retire at 65, and I kept my word,” Foncie said in a November 21, 1979 interview in the Province.
Foncie Pulice was the last of the street photographers. He died January 20, 2003 at age 88, but his work lives on . . . everywhere.
These fascinating snapshots are part of his work that Foncie captured people walking on streets in Vancouver from the 1950s.