Photo Friday | The Days Before Christmas

Take a quick break from your holiday preparations with these magical pictures from The Days Before Christmas (1958).

Directed by 3 NFB heavyweights (Stanley Jackson, Wolf Koenig and Terence Macartney-Filgate), the film is a sweeping overview of the city of Montreal during the few days leading up to Christmas, in the year 1958.

The Days Before Christmas, Stanley Jackson, Wolf Koenig & Terence Macartney-Filgate, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The film, shot in black and white, is presented without narration. The camera expertly roams and zooms in on various “seasonal” sights and events: overcrowded department stores, choirs, jovial Santas, food shopping, snowy streets, train departures, mail arrivals. (Holy mink coat! People wore a lot more fur back then.)

The photos were snapped by Gar Lunney, a distinguished photojournalist who passed away this year. Lunney worked with the NFB’s Still Division from 1950-1964. A founding member of the National Press Club in Ottawa, he earned many awards for his great work.

Check out the photos below:

DAYS_00

On the busy St. Catherine Street, harried shoppers battle winds and snow to purchase last minute gifts a few days before Christmas, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 1957.

DAYS_01

DAYS_02

Bystanders dressed in winter clothes gaze into a downtown department store window a few days before Christmas, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 1957.

DAYS_03

DAYS_04

DAYS_05

DAYS_06

A small child looks at the dolls displayed in the window of a downtown department store a few days before Christmas, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 1957.

DAYS_07

DAYS_08

Shoppers patronize a downtown department store a few days before Christmas, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 1957.

DAYS_09

DAYS_11

A department store Santa Claus, with one of his elves standing beside him, has a friendly chat with a young boy, Montreal, Quebec, December 1957.