Super 8 Filmmaker John Porter, Toronto, Canada



John's Upcoming Shows - New Films - Biography - Mother the Painter story and photos

Porter Family History

- John's Lost Cousins in Toronto
- John's Father, J.L. (Larry) Porter
- Larry Porter's Astrophysics Theory
- Photo of John with his parents, 1996
NEW! - List of Larry's Family Home Movies, 1944-1961

John's Father's Family in Toronto since 1830

John's great great grandfather William Porter at age 22, came from Yorkshire, England and landed in Philadelphia in 1819. He was among the first contractors building the first Erie, Welland and Rideau Canals before he settled in 1830, on a farm in Toronto Gore Township, Ontario outside of the hamlet of Claireville on the very northwest corner of today's Metropolitan Toronto. In 1831 his younger brother John Porter, then age 21, came over from Yorkshire and settled on property in Vaughan Township, also outside Claireville, just across the road from William. They died there and are buried with many of their family in Claireville / Hilltop Gore Cemetery.
There are some untraced branches of their descendants who may still live in the Toronto area and John hopes to find them.


John's Lost Cousins in Toronto

John Porter (1810-1894) and his wife Anna Porter (1808-1892)
bore 15 children in Vaughan between 1837 and 1866, several dying in infancy.
Those who lived to adulthood were Ruth Porter (1831-?), William Porter (1833-1911), Jane Porter (1842-?), Charles Edward Porter (1850-?), Elizabeth Hannah Porter (1854-?), Ann Porter (1866-?), Mary Porter, Caroline Porter, and Christianna Porter, but some of their descendants have become lost to today's John Porter.

William Porter (1797-1866) and his wife Eliza Hughes Porter (1808-1880)
bore four children in Vaughan - Joseph Porter (1831-1856), Alice Porter (1833-1900), William Porter (1835-1912) and John Hughes Porter (1837-1920) - John's great grandfather - and they all lived to have children of their own.

Son William Porter (1835-1912) was a local politician and became Warden of Peel County in 1886. He and his wife Mary Pexton Porter (1837-1897) bore 8 children, but they and most of their descendants have become lost to today's John Porter. They included William Pexton Porter (18??-?), Arthur Pexton Porter (1870-1907), Mary Elizabeth Porter (1872-?), Alice Porter (1859-?), and possibly John J. Porter and George Porter. Some of the sons may have gone West.


John's Father (photo below)

John Lawrence (Larry) Porter (1909-2003) belonged to a family of structural engineers in Southern Ontario, including other John Porters.

Larry's great grandfather William Porter (1797-1866) was among the first contractors building the Erie (USA), Welland and Rideau (Ontario) Canals, throughout the 1820s. One of William's sons, Larry's grandfather, John Hughes Porter (1837-1920) built a large lumber and grain mill and a large house in Hagersville, Ontario in the 1870s.
Both of John Hughes Porter's sons were professional structural engineers.
William Porter (1876-1953) built large machines for the Welland Canal.
John (Jack) Henry Porter (1878-1950), Larry's father, built bridges for the
Hamilton Bridge Co. in Hamilton, Ontario and the Virginia Bridge and Iron Co. in Roanoke, Virginia.

His father working in Roanoke, Larry studied Chemical Engineering at the Virginia Polytechnical Institute in nearby Blacksburg, earning a Research Fellowship and an Honours Master Degree with top grades in 1934. For the next 37 years, mostly in Toronto, he worked as a Research Chemical Engineer for the British American Oil Co., later to become Gulf Oil Canada, then Petro Canada.

Larry's hobby was Astrophysics and after retiring in 1971, although legally blind, he returned to University and completed his life-long theoretical paper Wave Mechanics of the Solar System which applies the structure of the atom (Quantum Mechanics) to the structure of the Solar System. His attempts to get it published were refused for it being too speculative.


Larry Porter's Theory
Simple text excerpt. Complete paper with table and graph, coming in future.

Wave Mechanics of the Solar System
by J.L. Porter, Toronto, Canada, circa 1980.


The structure of the Solar System remains unsolved after 2000 years of investigation.
A surprising symmetry is exhibited by the expression eR2 = KNn, where e (= rho) is the density of a planet, R is its semi-major axis, K is a constant, N is an integer from one to ten, and n is another small number. This expression can be related to Bohr's theory of the hydrogen atom, where the orbits are eigen-states of the electron. The underlying structure of the solar system may be dependent on a type of wave-mechanics analogous to the de Broglie proposal for the hydrogen atom.


1. Introduction

The hypothesis that the solar system has some form of symmetry has been put forward since "Pythagorus maintained that the universe sings and is constructed in accordance with harmony" (Hippolytos, 400 B.C.). During his lifetime, Kepler believed that a resonant structure created order in the solar system. Many investigators have tried to deduce a structure which would explain the well-known Titius-Bode law of planetary distances since it first appeared in 1766. More recently, MacDonald and Fish suggested that there is a simple relationship between the angular momenta and the masses of the planets.

Molochanov, by means of a statistical analysis, postulated a resonant structure for the solar system. Dermott, who rejected Molochanov's statistics, related orbital periods of the planets and satellites to whole numbers with some degree of success. Barnothy, for the quinquencentennial anniversary of the birth of Copernicus, presented a quantum theory of the solar system based on angular momenta of the planets. Barnothy referred to Bohr's model of the hydrogen atom, and suggested a similar structure for the solar system. Finally, Bagby compared the Titius-Bode rule to the Bohr hydrogen atom. Data presented in this paper support the conjecture that the solar system does indeed have resonant structure which is analogous to the Rutherford-Bohr model for the hydrogen atom, and to the later de Groglie-Schrodinger explanation of the stability of the Bohr atom by wave mechanics.


2. A basic structure revealed.

When Bohr formulated his theory of the hydrogen atom he found that only one variable was necessary, i.e. the radius of the orbit of the electron. In this miniature "solar system", the mass and other characteristics of the orbiting element, the electron, were assumed to be constant. By contrast, in the real solar system, both mass and volume of the planets vary from orbit to orbit in a complex manner. Combination of mass and volume in the form of density (e) lessens the complexity. When e is multiplied by R2, where R is the radius (semi-major axis) of the orbit, the product, eR2, can be termed moment of inertia density, an extension of the usual moment of inertia, I (where I = MR2; M = mass of planet). Table 1 lists the values of e, R, and eR2 for the planets. All data, except where otherwise noted, are from C.W. Allen's Astrophysical Quantities (3rd edition, Athlone Press, London, 1973).

A striking result is obtained when values of eR2 are plotted against the numbers from one to ten on log-log paper. In Fig. 1 the values of eR2 have been divided by that for the planet Mercury to simplify the presentation, and the scale of the x-axis has been expanded to clarify the details. The values of eR2/eR2 Mercury are given in Table 1. Unlike the Bohr atom, which would produce a straight line for the values of log 1 versus log N, there are three groups of planets which can be identified with a primary number, N, and secondary value, n, the latter being the slope of the particular line on which the planets lie in the graph. Values for N and n are shown in Fig. 1 and Table 1. Together, these two numbers, N and n, seem to exhibit the same characteristics as do quantum numbers in the Bohr theory of the atom - that of determining discrete values, or eigenvalues, with the corresponding eigenstates.

The grouping of the planets in three interconnected sets is reminiscent of the three sets of interconnected spertral lines emitted by the hydrogen atom, namely the Lyman, Balmer, and Paschen series, which were basic to Bohr's theory of the hydrogen atom.


John Porter with his parents Larry & Marion at the premiere of his film Toy Catalogue 3, shown April 17 - May 18, 1996 at YYZ Gallery, 1087 Queen St. W., Toronto.

see "John's Mother the Painter" story and photos.


Porter Family Home Movies 1944-1961
Toronto - Clarkson - Geneva Park, Lake Couchiching - Florida

Complete List of 8mm Films by Larry Porter.
1 hour. Transferred to VHS tapes in 1991.
Also - Johnston Family Home Movies.

21 reels, at 50 feet or 3 minutes each. Colour, unless noted black & white.

1. 1944 - Susan (age 2) eating, bathing, sleeping. Marion and Larry. (Black & white.)

2. 1947 - Susan, Nancy (age 3), Marion and Larry in Clarkson, indoors and outdoors.

3. 1948? - John (months old), Susan and Nancy. Marion and Larry.

4. 1949 - Margaret Johnston in Florida (shot by Benson?).
Nancy and Susan. John learning to walk. Porters' dog "Patches".

6. 1950 - Parade, swimming & comic divers at dock at Geneva Park, Lake Couchiching.

7. 1950 - John, Nancy and Susan. John (age 1?) with ice cream and in bathtub.

8. 1951 - John on horse. Nancy and Susan swimming, and parade at Geneva Park.

9. 1951 - Family with car. Susan and Nancy. 38 Bracondale Hill Rd. outdoors.
Marion, Nancy & Susan painting in the country. John walking (w/ nannie?). (Black & white.)

10. 1951 - Johnston family outdoors. Family reunion in 38 Bracondale Hill Rd. backyard.

11. 1951 - Nancy & Susan in an egg-on-spoon race. Christmas at 38 Bracondale Hill Rd.


12. 1952 - Family car on St. Clements Ave.
Boating with the Frost family in Sandusky, Ohio. Dog show. Porters in the country.

13. 1952 - Snow on St. Clements Ave.
Margaret & Benson Johnston in Florida (shot by Benson?). USA baseball game.

14. 1953 - Car ride in the country. Marion and Larry. John dressed in ladies clothing.
John & friends Susan Roden & David MacPherson's first day at school. "Patches".

15. 1953 - Larry's plane flight. Los Angeles. USA Super Bowl football game. Las Vegas.

16. 1953 - John and Susan at Geneva Park, Lake Couchiching.
Johnston family. McRae family. Benson Johnston.

17. 1953 - John playing in sand with arm in a cast. Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.

18. 1954 - Johnston family. Kids swimming. Birthday party outside 448 St. Clements Ave.

19. 1954 - Susan, Nancy and John in the country. "Patches". Johnston family. Cathleen.

20. 1955 - Family reunion in 38 Bracondale Hill Rd. backyard. Kids acting. Picnic.

21. 1961 - Susan horse-riding. Porters' dog "Patches". Cookes Line and Johnston family.

See Also - New, Complete List of Johnston Family Home Movies 1947-2005.


John's Upcoming Shows - 100 Solo Shows - New Films - 300 Films - "Top 25" - Biography