Influenced by his mother, Gwen Cash, who was the first woman general reporter in Canada, Jack Cash got his start in photography in the late 1930s as a staff photographer at the Vancouver Sun. In 1939, Cash went to work at Burrard Dry Dock, first as a pipefitter’s assistant and later as a photographer. As Canada stepped in to assist Britain and produce cargo ships to replace those sunk by German submarines, the industrial waterfront of Burrard Inlet became central to wartime construction. The only person who was allowed to carry a camera near the waterfront was Jack Cash.
After the war ended, Cash continued to work as a freelance photographer for the shipyards but eventually established his own photographic studio at 1629 Marine Drive. Prior to being his studio, the building had been occupied by a butcher shop with a large walk-in freezer. Cash used the freezer as his darkroom and placed the portrait shooting studio in the centre, which provided space in the front of the building for camera and equipment sales. His associate Win Davis handled much of the portraiture work, leaving Cash to focus on larger commercial clients. Derek Cash, one of Jack’s three sons, recalls helping out in his father’s photography studio by selling cameras.
While some of Cash’s commercial clients remained constant throughout the years, a look at his log book reveals the breadth of photographic assignments over the decades – from homewares to logging. Owing in part to his success, was Cash’s meticulous recording of each and every photograph he took, including the date, customer name and subject area.
During the 1950s and 60s, Cash worked consistently for James Lovick, an advertising mogul who ran the largest Canadian ad agency. Accounts held by Lovick and shot by Jack Cash included B.C. Telephone Company, Super Valu and Nabob coffee.
Jack Cash with associate, Win David and employee, Jackie, of Jack Cash Studios Ltd., taken for a North Shore newspaper, ca. 1960s. On loan from donor.
Page from Jack Cash’s customer log book, 1954. NVMA Fonds 164
Logger working at Universal Box, 14 September 1957. NVMA Fonds 164
Phone operator for telephone ad, 16 October 1956. NVMA Fonds 164
Food shot taken for the provincial government, 27 June 1956. NVMA Fonds 164
Farmer holding chicken for government advertisement, 4 July 1956. NVMA Fonds 164
Employees looking at plans at opening ceremonies for the B.A. Oil refinery, 20 June 1957. NVMA Fonds 164
Davenport Bed at Devonshire Hotel, 30 June 1959. NVMA Fonds 164