Fonds MG 21.24 - Rice Family fonds

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Rice Family fonds

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  • Graphic material

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CA BI MG 21.24

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1865-1980 (Creation)

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Physical description

178 photographs

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Amos Ingraham Rice, born in 1850 in North Sydney, Cape Breton, was the son of Robert Muckford Rice and Sarah Maria Ingraham. He married Eliza G. and they had five children: Charles, Robert, Ingraham, James, and Frances. He became a photographer in 1865 when he opened a studio in Washington, DC. with his brother Moses Rice. He opened his own Portrait studios in North Sydney and New Glasgow. The North Sydney studio labelled their photos with Amos I. Rice, while the New Glasgow studio labelled their photos as A. I. Rice. He also opened Rice Studios Limited in Montreal with Moses and later moved to Montreal, where he died on November 23, 1912.

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Biographical history

Lewis Rice, born in Baddeck, Cape Breton in 1863, was the son of Joseph Frederick Rice and Mary Ann Munn. He married Jessie Black in 1890. He was a professional photographer and held studios in Truro, Springhill, Parrsboro, Windsor, Wolfville, Amherst, Moosejaw, and had a railroad photo car. He moved to Moosejaw with his wife in 1906 and became a well known photographer, producing promotional pamphlets held at the Moose Jaw Public Library, Archives Department. He died on October 14, 1913.

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Biographical history

Breton Robert Rice, born in North Sydney on June 10, 1875, was the son of Abner Trenholme Rice and Augusta Moffett. He married Josephine Eva MacKinnon in 1898 and they had three children: Hugh, Lorne, and Augusta. Brenton was a professional photographer in North Sydney. He was also the Fire Chief from 1906 to 1914 and postmaster in his later years. He died on August 17, 1934.

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Biographical history

Arthur Nelson Rice, known as Nelson Rice, was born in North Sydney, Cape Breton on September 5, 1906. Son of Walter Nelson Rice and Minnie Hurst, he married Evelyn MacDonald in 1930 and they had three children: Walter, Arthur Nelson, and Paul. Nelson was a druggist in North Sydney and an amateur photographer on the weekends. He purchased his first camera in 1924, when he was 18 years old. He submitted photos to The Halifax Herald, The North Sydney Herald, and Cape Breton Post. His photos made the covers magazines, such as Montreal Standard and National Home Monthly. He also participated in photography contest, winning prizes in The National Home Monthly in 1940 in Winnipeg, The O’keefe’s Photography contest in 1956 in Toronto, Mechanix Illustrated in 1956 in New York, and The Toronto Star major prize of $500 in 1957. Nelson developed all his own photos and shot mostly in B&W. He belonged to a photography club during the war with local photographers including, M.Theuerkauf, E.L. Martheleur, Frank Nolan, Frank Upper, Gordon Naish, Dave Burchell, and many others. He died on May 18, 1994.

Custodial history

On February 2, 2010 Ron MacDonald, Secretary for the North Sydney Historical Society, donated the photographs found in series A, B, and C, as well as, providing additional photographs to series D. Series D is comprised mainly of photographs from, what was previously, photo collection #26, which was donated by the Rice family.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of four series containing photos taken by the Rice family over a century. Photos are taken by Amos, Brenton, Lewis, and Nelson. Amos, Brenton, and Lewis had portrait studios, while Nelson was an amateur. Photos consist of studio portraits, candid portraits, prominent North Sydney Residents, scenes of Cape Breton, and industrial Cape Breton.

Notes area

Physical condition

Majority of photos in good condition. Some pictures peeling or torn.

Immediate source of acquisition


Arrangement imposed by the archivist. Photographs were donated with no existing provenance or connection. Series were developed by including all photographs taken by individual photographers of the Rice family. Fond was created to represent the familial connection of this photographic collection. Amos Rice is the uncle of Lewis and Brenton Rice, who are first cousins, and the great uncle of Nelson Rice.

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