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Step back in time with 79-year-old colour footage of the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is always a colourful event, but take a look at this rare colour footage from the Stampede in 1939, shot just months before the start of the Second World War.

The film begins with images of the Stampede parade, followed by some cowboy footage of roping, riding and racing. Take note of the homes in Ramsay on the hill above the Elbow River.

At 5:30 there’s footage of the chuckwagon races, and then a few seconds of the midway at night, and carnival workers serving up ice cream.

The Royal American Shows was the Midway company that started with the Stampede in 1934 and for a time was the world’s largest Midway show, travelling around the US and Canada on 99 railroad cars.

The footage was taken by Dr. Anthony Steadman Till, a surgeon from Oxford, England who shot a series of Kodak colour footage on a tour of Canada and the US in 1939.

Till would begin service in the war the following year, was taken as a prisoner of war in Greece, but survived the war and had a successful career in medical surgery. He died in 2006.

Watch the video to the end for some bonus shots of the train ride through the Rockies.

The video is courtesy the Wellcome Library.