Series of Twenty-Six Original Photographs Documenting the Historic Red River Valley Flood of 1950, Captured as Part of “Operation Red Ramp” undertaken by the R.C.A.F.

$389.00

The Royal Canadian Air Force (Operation “Red Ramp”) | Red River Valley Flood of 1950

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The Royal Canadian Air Force (Operation “Red Ramp”) | Red River Valley Flood of 1950. Series of Twenty-Six Original Photographs Documenting the Historic Red River Valley Flood of 1950, Captured as Part of “Operation Red Ramp” undertaken by the R.C.A.F. [Winnipeg, Manitoba]: The Royal Canadian Air Force | Produced by Goodall Photo Co. (321 Carlton St., Winnipeg), N.D. [Circa May, 1950]. First Edition, First Printing. Our offering comprises of a series of twenty-six original black-and-white photographs commissioned by the Royal Canadian Air Force, under the command of Brigadier R. E. A. Morton, documenting in remarkable detail the devastating Red River Valley Flood of 1950 affecting the city of Winnipeg, and surrounding districts over the course of April 15 to June 12, 1950. Printed on period, glossy, card-stock, each photograph measures 2.75″ x 4″, surrounded with argyle borders. Includes nine vivid aerial views capturing the widespread havoc the flooding imposed upon the city, five street level views of damage to homes and businesses, and twelve images, presumably, captured from roof-tops, of the devastation wreaked upon the various commercial and transportation centres of the city. The Manitoba Historical Society notes: “The Royal Canadian Air Force commenced its operation “Red Ramp” which consisted of a giant airlift of flood emergency materials (then in very short supply). Trans Canada Air Lines threw the weight of their system into a similar emergency airlift. A total of 35 aircraft was in operation during Red Ramp some of which were used for aerial photography of the flooded areas to allow technical personnel on Brigadier Morton’s and the various governmental staffs to evaluate the progress of the flood and the flood fight.” Exceptionally well-preserved with no detectable flaws; fine. A most remarkable, primary-source visual archive sourced from the original R.C.A.F operation. Indeed, no similar holdings could be located amongst either regional, or, national archival institutions, including the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, the University of Alberta Bruce Peel Special Collections, LAC/BAC, et. al. Rare indeed.

The impact of the flood would compel the Conservative government of Duff Roblin to initiate a Royal Commission to examine the feasibility of the construction of the 47 km long channel. In the face of significant opposition, the Commission would ultimately endorse the massive capital project, at the not insignificant cost (for the time), of over $63 million dollars (over $505 million dollars when adjusted for inflation today). Completed in 1968, it is estimated to have prevented nearly $10 billion dollars of damages over its life. (#5127) $389.00