Journalist, Visual Artist
1868 – 1950
Who was Tappan Adney?
Edwin Tappan Adney was an artist, a writer, a photographer and the man credited with saving the art of birchbark canoe construction. He built more than 100 models of different types, which are now housed at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia. He authored a book, The Klondike Stampede about the Klondike Gold Rush. His photos of the Klondike Gold rush c. 1899 are available online via the McCord Museum.
He was one of the first photojournalists to pass safely through British Columbia. As a writer for Harper's Weekly, he was sent with his camera to the Yukon from 1897 to 1898. His classic illustrated book concerns his experiences in the Yukon, of which numerous editions have been printed. He returned there to briefly report on the Nome Gold Rush in 1900. He retired first to Montreal, then to New Brunswick, the place where his wife was born.
In 1916, he joined the Royal Canadian Engineers. He became a Canadian citizen in 1917. He spent his World War I career as an engineering officer at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario constructing scale models of fortifications for training purposes. After the war, he created a set of three-dimensional shields of the Canadian provinces that adorn Currie Hall at Royal Military College of Canada.
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