Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Photo: Check out what Vancouver's power lines used to look like

Electricity was still a new technology at the time.
Vancouver-power-lines
The photo shows power lines in Vancouver stacked in an effort to bring electricity to more people. Reference code: AM54-S4-: LGN 1241

H-frame power poles are still a thing in Vancouver, but it's been a long time since they looked like this.

In a photo from the City of Vancouver Archives, the photo from 1914 shows how electricity was moved over 100 years ago, with a dense H-frame pole holding up dozens and dozens of wires.

Given that the beams on the right-hand side appear to hold connections for five or six wires, and they're nine high, that'd be around 50 separate wires going in one direction. It's unclear how many are running perpendicular, but there are 11 beams between the two support poles. Electricity had only been in the city for a couple decades and cities around the world were adjusting to the new technology.

The photo, taken at Main and Pender streets, shows what appears to be a Chinese laundry with the pole out front. A couple of figures on the left of the image help give some scale to the massive structure (it appears the exposure took a moment as other figures can be seen blurred by motion).

At the time Vancouver's city hall was still located in Gastown, and it can be seen in the background, according to the archive's site. While city hall has relocated, H-frame poles are still in use in that neighbourhood, though they're much more sparse now. Heritage Vancouver is looking to make a case to save them.

Electricity had only been in the city for a couple of decades and cities around the world were adjusting to the new technology.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks