Perhaps nothing evokes a particular time and place more vividly than photographs: the stiff family studio portraits of the Victorians; sad, formal pictures of young men standing proudly in their First World War uniforms; grainy snapshots depicting people in the strange, comical styles of the 1940s. But because these were real people who lived and worked, married, had children, and died, studying old photographs fills us with a combination of curiosity, fascination, and nostalgia.
For her book, Mary Biggar Peck has selected over 160 black and white photos from 1885 to 1955, dividing them into nine sections under headings such as, "Rural Life," "War and Disaster," and "Ceremony and Celebration." Each section is arranged, when possible, in chronological order.
Fishermen and steelworkers, farmers and firemen, sailors and students, parents and children are captured at work, at school, and at play. Towns, bridges, buildings, parades, and picnics illuminate this glimpse of a vanished way of life.
These, of course, are photographs of life in New Brunswick and, as such, they present a living history of that province and its people.
A New Brunswick Album provides a delightful, memorable journey to the past for all of us and, as the author says, a family album for all New Brunswickers.