Dill, Ralph

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Dill, Ralph

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Ralph Dill, Saskatoon's first resident photographer, was born in Huntsville, Ontario, and lived in Iowa, USA with his parents until 1884 and then in Huntsville again. He was soon orphaned and went to work as a clerk and then a photographer's apprentice. In 1896, he moved to Manitoba, and to Battleford, Saskatchewan the next year. For a number of years he worked on farms and ranches. In 1901, he clerked in a Battleford store and the next year in Saskatoon. In 1902, he opened a photography studio and from then until 1914 concentrated on commercial work documenting the economic boom in Saskatoon. Many of his photos were sold as postcards for the public and as promotional material by the city's board of trade. After the war, Ralph concentrated on studio and interior work. He had a number of assistants over the years including Len Hillyard, Vern Tomlinson and Jack Porter. The downturn in business brought on by the Depression and Ralph's poor health caused him to close the studio and retire in 1938. He married Helen Elizabeth Morgan of Regina in 1905 and they had two sons, George and Morgan.


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