Furrows in the Sky



Gerry Andrews setting up a camera

Gerry Andrews setting up a camera for the fire protection lookout project. In 1936 George Melrose, the head of the Forest Protection Division, asked Gerry to develop a lookout photography program. Andrews adapted the American system to conditions in BC, and the program was used for 50 years. Photo: Andrews Family collection.




Gerry Andrews was well-known for using technology to improve the quality of forestry work and surveying in BC. He was a pioneer in using aerial photography to revolutionize forest inventories in BC in the 1930s.

Gerry's plane on the Finlay River

Gerry Andrews' plane on the Finlay River, 1939. Photo: Library Archives Canada.


After World War II Gerry headed the Air Survey Division of the BC Surveys Branch. With the assistance of the RCAF he co-ordinated the aerial photography of the entire province. When the work was completed in 1950 the Victoria Daily Colonist wrote that "it would have more bearing on the future of the province than all the rush and excitement of front line news for five years back".

Early mapping stereoscope

An early mapping stereoscope. Photo: Andrews Family collection.