It’s an almost magical place that can capture the imagination of those who visit. Especially if you’re a Toad who loves antique heavy duty equipment. You could seriously get lost in here for hours on end and come back the very next day and start all over discovering the most amazing things.
We’re visiting the BC Forest Discovery Centre today where we continue our long-running photoblog series “The Toad’s Tonka Toys“. This extensive series features a large collection of photographs we captured spending an entire afternoon at the museum.
I’ve said it before and I am certain to say it again here some day, necessity is the mother of all invention. It’s through this constant desire for advancement that solutions are found to problems. Some of these solutions are rather elegant, and for me I find it even more so the case when simple designs are brought to bear on complex issues.
This old converted Fordson tractor is a great example of this kind of ingenuity. During the early days of settlement here on Vancouver Island logging and mining were the key industries that were driving the economy. And as things grew and continued to evolve here, the scale of the problems encountered only grew. Vancouver Island is a fairly big island, full of dense and mountainous forests. Today the island is beribboned with highways and roadways making travel fairly easy. A hundred years ago this most certainly was not the case. By encountering the challenges head-on, those who worked here in the early days set out to create solutions to common problems faced during the days work.
The engineers who created this piece started by designing a stationary mount for it to sit on, then they replaced the back wheels with a chain drive system to power all sorts of things that could be hooked up to the back of it. Instead of designing something entirely from scratch, they simply took what they had around them and put it all together in a very unique way, and viola! Problem solved. Today we get to benefit from the fabulous photography opportunities it presents. How great is that?
In the early days trains were the primary tool used to deliver goods up and down the island. As time marched on and our roadways became more prevalent, it started to make sense to supplement this with semi trucks. Today we find the island here full of old logging trucks, many of them lovingly owned and restored by enthusiasts. The BC Forestry Discovery Centre certainly has their own fair share of these vehicles on display, and each exhibits its own personality. Who were the people who drove these every day for their livings? It’s easy to imagine the connection one would eventually make with the truck they drive every day, in some ways almost personifying it as a member of the family.
I have a personal love for these types of detailed shots. This photograph shares some of the intricate lines that make up the cab design of the truck, as well as some of the finer details. We can clearly see here how wonderfully preserved and maintained this truck is today, looking like it can be called into service with a moment’s notice.
When I was growing up in school learning about history, I found some of the lessons difficult to comprehend without the benefit of context or scale. Museums like the BC Forestry Discovery Centre play an important role in maintaining these links to our past by providing exhibits that allow the visitor to immerse themselves in the display creating a much deeper awareness.
Learning can be fun!
Thanks for your kind visit to our little corner of the world here today, we really appreciate it. As always, we encourage all our visitors to leave us any comments you may have as we truly do love to hear from everyone!