Oliver, W.J.

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Oliver, W.J.

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William John Oliver was born in 1887 in Ash, Canterbury, Kent, England. As a youth, he worked as a butcher's apprentice, but became interested in photography after winning a camera. In 1910, he immigrated to southern Alberta, and worked as a teamster at Strathmore. In the following years Frederick B. Cooper Photographic Studio in Calgary employed him to work as a camera assistant. In 1911, he joined the Morning Albertan and in 1912, he opened the W.J. Oliver Photographic Studio. He also worked as a staff photographer for the Calgary Herald. Oliver's studio prospered, and he regularly received contracts outside of the Calgary area. During the 1920s and 1930s, he also took many photographs of the Calgary Stampede, and traveled across Canada taking photos and films for the National Parks Branch, Fox News and others news providers. From 1936-1937 he served as official photographer on Michael Lerner's big game hunting expeditions to Africa and southeastern Asia, and in 1939 he accompanied Lerner to Alaska. Oliver sold the studio in 1942 to Walter Cadman, an employee of the studio. Oliver retired to the Diamond L. Ranch in the Millarville area with his wife Marjorie Beatrice Martin (1896-1993), his wife since 1920. The Olivers had three children: Joan (Cavers), Doreen (Huffman), and Audrey-Jean (Langford). Oliver passed away in 1954.

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Provincial Archives of Alberta

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