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Transportation History

Trucking in British Columbia

An Illustrated History

by (author) Daniel Francis

Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Initial publish date
Sep 2012
History, Post-Confederation (1867-), Trucks
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13
  • Grade: 8


Trucks are everywhere--crowding the highways, lining up for the ferries, roaring down dusty logging roads--and yet trucking is often left off the list when talk turns to British Columbia's major industries. It shouldn't be, as this gorgeous new illustrated history celebrating the BC Trucking Association's 100th anniversary shows. With annual revenues of $1.88 billion and 60,000 employees, trucking is among BC's five largest industries.

Accompanied by hundreds of previously unpublished archival and contemporary photographs, award-winning historian Daniel Francis delivers a fascinating account of the last hundred years of trucking in BC. Beginning in Vancouver with James Stark's first delivery van in 1907, motorized transport exploded in the province, soon traversing every dirt track, hauling logs on temporary plank roads and leading to a frenzy of experimentation and innovation-- from the failed Renard Road Train and early battery-operated vehicles to some truly impressive purpose-built trucks, many of them manufactured in BC.

From hair-raising tales of the road by trucking legends like the scholarly Andy Craig and the bombastic Cog Harrington to important infrastructure projects and vital innovations for the future, here is a story never told before--a road less travelled, so to speak--but an important and an exciting chapter in British Columbia's history.

About the author

Daniel Francis is an historian and the author/editor of more than twenty books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture , National Dreams: Myth, Memory and Canadian History, LD: Mayor Louis Taylor and the Rise of Vancouver (winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award), Seeing Reds: The Red Scare of 1918-1919, Canada's First War on Terror and Imagining Ourselves: Classics of Canadian Non-Fiction. His other books include A Road for Canada, Red Light Neon: A History of Vancouver's Sex Trade, Copying People: Photographing British Columbia First Nations 1860-1940, The Great Chase: A History of World Whaling, New Beginnings: A Social History of Canada, and the popular Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He is also a regular columnist in Geist magazine, and was shortlisted for Canada's History Pierre Berton Award in 2010. Daniel lives in North Vancouver, BC.

Daniel Francis' profile page


  • Short-listed, Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award

Editorial Reviews

Global TV Interview on October 8, 2012:

Global TV Interview

Librarian Reviews

Trucking in British Columbia: An Illustrated History

This coffee-table style book celebrates the BC Trucking Association's 100th anniversary. Rather than an adjunct to other major industries, trucking is considered one of BC’s largest industries in its own right. While directed to a popular audience, this title contributes to the literature on the modern history of transportation in the province. Drawing on a wide range of secondary and primary sources including articles, theses, websites, government reports and industry journals, the narrative is embellished by lavish illustrations. The focus is primarily on long-distance freight hauling, but truck logging, urban delivery trucks and BC-based truck manufacturing are examined.

This book was shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes, Bill Duthie Bookseller's Choice Award.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2013-2014.

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