Etiquette on eating oranges and lettuce, 1922

Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.


In well appointed houses a silver-bladed knife should be given you with all leafy salads, but if you happen to be given none, you do the best you can by cutting each leaf into very small pieces and eating it in postage-stamp samples. At all events, beware of rolling the fork and wrapping springy leaves around the fork in a spiral.


Never suck an orange in a restaurant, or at a table anywhere – unless at a picnic. You can peel it and divide sections and eat it in your fingers; or cut it in half and eat with a spoon, or cut it in any way you like best. My own favourite way is to cut off the rind with a sharp knife, then holding the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right, cut the peeled orange in half crossways and cut into small pieces and eat with a fork.

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And then there were dinosaurs (WE Cutler)

And then there were dinosaurs

One of the wonders of doing my family history has been the contributions made by others to my research. I have received a number of really great contacts, and help from my blog readers. It has been awesome. I thought that I would share one of the stories coming from my research and someone else’s research coming together.
To start with, I will recap my Cutler family tree as it relates to this story.

and then there were

William Henry Cutler, the brother to my Great-great-great grandmother Mary Cutler, was married to Emily Taylor, and they had twelve children. But being a man who clearly could multi-task, he also had two children with Roberta McKenzie Watson. One of them was William Edmond Cutler, who was born 23 July 1878 in London. His brother was Henry Clarence Cutler, who was born in 1880.

(I should mention that with this family, this was not the first illegitimate birth- it seems like a bit of a tradition)

I found out about William Edmond from Andrew in England, who was most interested in William’s paleontological work, he found me through this blog, using the key words of Louisa Freak Cutler (WE’s grandmother).

Image from Tyrell Museum of Paleotology

Image from Tyrell Museum of Paleotology

While a David Spalding’s Into the Dinosaur’ Graveyard, says that William moved to Canada as a child, from evidence I have been able to turn up, and Andrew has, he actually moved to Canada as an adult. The 1921 Census says he came here in 1897 (age 19). He made his living as a palaeontologist in the badlands. He was actually quite known in the dinosaur industry of the time, and collected bones which now are in the collections of the Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology, and the Natural History Museum in London, among others.

See: article 1
article 2

When the First World War began, he took time off his dinosaur quests, and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, serving at Ypres, where he was wounded. He survived the First World War, and returned to Alberta to resume his digging.

Service record from Library and Archives Canada

Service record from Library and Archives Canada

Around 1921 he returned to the UK and was hired by the Natural History Museum to search for dinosaurs in Africa. Off he went, with his assistant Louis Leakey, to Tanginyika in 1924. Cutler died there of ‘Blackwater fever.’

What I have found in the historical Record:

1891 Census living at 23 Notting Hill in Kensington with his brother Clarence H Cutler, both listed as sons presumably of the man living at 22 Notting Hill, who is listed as “head” James WH Avery. Visitor listed in 23 Notting Hill called John NJ Watson, age 45.
1900 From New York to Liverpool, William E Cutler, Rancher.
1909-10 Electoral Roll for North Division, Maitland Park- 11690 Cutler, William Edmund, 2 Thurlow Terrace.
1910 – April 29, Empress of Ireland from St John to Liverpool, William Cutler, English age 32, tourist.
1919- Nominal Roll of men to be discharged in Canada, William Cutler. Arrive St John.
1921 Census living in Macleod, Alberta, as a lodger in the household of Harry Nash, came to Canada in 1897, lists his job as forest ranger, and earned 372$ in the last 12 months.
1924 Arrival at Liverpool from New York, William Edmund Cutler, Geologist, address care of Director of British Museum of Natural History, London, Canadian.

I had an interesting talk with Andrew about WE Cutler, and of course his relationship with the family. He and his brother were baptized as Cutlers, so were acknowledged by their father, if not raised by him. Also it is interesting to note that WE’s brother Henry named his son after his father. Not much is really known, and it is not certain that he knew his Aunt Mary Paulin in British Columbia when he moved to Canada. Or did he? It is possible, and would certainly have been a useful contact to have.

Cutler appears to have had an education, although it is not clear where or to what level he achieved. One of his jobs was with the University of Manitoba, but not sure what his qualifications were. The Badlands of Alberta were literally the Wild West, and many people of great and dubious qualifications were there digging up bones for the world’s museums and collectors. That WE Cutler is still known among these circles means he was not bad at what he did.

What is really cool is that there is a dinosaur named after him, the ‘Scolosaurus Cutleri.’

Scolosaurus Cutleri

Scolosaurus Cutleri

There is so much more to learn! I know that there is a planned biography underway on WE Cutler, which I am looking forward to. The more I learn about the Cutler family, the more fascinated I become.

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Poem from the Disgusted Wife to her Husband, 1844

Montreal Gazette, 29 May 1844, page 3


(The disgusted wife to her husband)

You promised to leave off your smoking;
The day I consented to wed.
How little I thought you were joking;
How fondly believed what you said!
Then, alas! How completely you sold me,
With blandishments artful and vain;
When you emptied your snuff-box, and told me
You never would fill it again!

Those fumes, so oppressive, from puffing,
Say, what is the solace that flows?
And whence the enjoyment of stuffing;
A parcel of dust in your nose?
By the habits you thus are pursuing
There can be no pleasure conferr’d;
How irrational, then, is so doing!
Now it is not very absurd?

Cigars come to threepence each, nearly,
And sixpence an ounce is your snuff;
Consider how much then, you yearly
Must waste on that horrible stuff.
Why the sums in tobacco you spend, love,
The wealth in your snuff-box, you sink,
Would procure me of dresses no end, love,
And keep me in gloves; only think!

What’s worse, for your person I tremble,
‘Tis going as fast as it can;
Oh! How should you like to resemble
A smoky and snuffy old man!
Then resign, at the call of Affection,
The habits I cannot endure;
Or you’ll spoil both your nose and complexion,
And ruin your teeth, I am sure.

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Emigration to Canada, 1843

Montreal Gazette, 10 October 1843, page 2

The present system of Emigration to this country is, in many respects, a most wretched one. We have lately seen in the Emigrant Sheds in this city a poor Irish family who were transported to Canada by their Landlord, to get rid of them; and whose case, we suspect is not a solitary one. This man, whose appearance is respectable, says that he held a small farm in Ireland, which he was compelled to leave, as the proprietor wished to join his and several small holdings together, with the view of enlarging his farms. His passage and that of his family to this country were paid by his landlord, and each of them were given seven shillings each on being landed at Quebec. Here were these poor people left in a strange country, at the beginning of a long winter, with only a few shillings in their pockets; which might provide them with food and lodgings for a few days, after which they might starve! The landlord who got rid of this family in such a cruel manner appears to us to be a thorough miscreant and ought to be exposed; and when we further add that this poor immigrant is nearly blind, the conduct of his unnatural exporter is the more reprehensible. The unfortunate man and his family, too, are suffering from sickness, brought on by exposure and want.

This, however, is the mode of Emigration which some people both here and in England wish to continue. It would be less cruel to shoot the unhappy wretches at once, than to “get rid” of them in such a manner. The following summary of the destitute emigrants whose passages from this city to Upper Canada were aid during the past summer, by the Emigrant agent here, will give some idea of the amount of pauper emigration to the province:

Adults Children Infants
May… 861 410 173 1476 Souls
June… 1590 699 315 2604 “
July… 1273 475 241 2011 “
August… 323 181 112 618 “

The passage paid was 10s for adults; 5s for children; and infants free.


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Ode to a Microfilm Reel on a Midwinter’s Morning, 2014

Ah historical research inspires! Just sharing this small poem inspired by Library and Archives Canada’s microfilm room….


“Ode to a Microfilm Reel on a Midwinter’s Morning”
by Madelaine Morrison

Turn, O turn, dear microfilm reel
Thy sepia-toned secrets are yours to reveal.
In print too small for the naked eye,
You help the working hours fly by.
Such technology! (Though half a century old)
I spin the crank, and lo! behold!
A miracle on a smudged glass plate,
If only the image will align itself straight.
So shall I sing my minstrel song,
And hope that the next reel won’t take me too long.

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Library and Archives Canada Scavenger Hunt, 2014

232 - Young Couple Library Archives-2

From a researcher at LAC who wanted to add a bit of fun to the experience!
LAC Scavenger Hunt:

1. Name one of the microfilm readers in the 3rd floor microfilm lounge. Try to be as creative as possible.

2. On the first floor lunch lounge, go to the vending machine with the packaged meals. Which (in your opinion) is the most dubious food offering?
*Extra points if you actually consume said item.

3. Find the Rogue’s gallery of Dominion Archivists portraits on the 3rd floor, next to the main reading room. Which of these dapper Great White Men had the best fashion sense? Be prepared to defend your answer.

4. Where would be the best place in LAC to string a hammock? Keep in mind conditions for napping as well as physical structures for tying the hammock.

5. Complete the following limerick: “There once was a researcher at LAC ….”

6. List the names of four (4) security guards and/or archivists.

7. Statue of boy and girl on the front bench outside the building. What do you think he’s actually whispering in her ear?

8. How many steps from the first floor lobby to the 3rd floor reading room? Extra points if, while counting, you dance up the stairs like you’re starring in a Ziegfield follies revue.

9. Strangest document you’ve ever found at LAC. Provide Title and AMICUS number so we can all look it up and enjoy.

10. LAC wants to redecorate its 3rd floor reading room, and you are chosen as the head designer. You have complete creative free-reign and budget is no concern. What will the room look like once you (and your top-notch construction team minions) have finished?

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Trouble at Montreal’s Theatre Royal, 1843

Montreal Gazette, 22 July 1843, page 2

Theatre Royal image From Dickens' Montreal

Theatre Royal image From Dickens’ Montreal


Sir, – An editorial having appeared in the Morning Courier of this day’s date, calling upon me to explain the circumstances under which it has been rendered imperative that I should close the Theatre, my respect for the public (which first fostered any humble ability which I may possess) urges me to solicit the insertion of this letter in the columns of the Gazette; intended as a reply to the different queries and statements relative to the matter in question, contained in the Morning Courier.

It is perfectly true, as stated, that “the bills for the evening’s entertainment had been issued, as usual,” but I thought that my Prompter, Mr Baker (my representative within the Theatre upon all occasions) after receiving my orders, would have a notice displayed upon the doors, to the effect that the Theatre would be closed for that evening. My reason for so doing was as follows” The melodrama of Robert Macaire had been “asked for,” and, accordingly, on Tuesday last, it was “cast,” for performance on the following evening. To Miss Rock (my principal actress) was assigned the leading female character, a part which can scarcely be supposed to be beneath her ability, when it is known that it was played with considerable éclat by Mrs Wm West, at Covent Garden Theatre. Miss Rock objected to the character, and informed Mrs Baker that she “would not play it.” I certainly did not understand how any actress to whom I was paying the salary that I did to Miss Rock, for leading my business, could justifiably decline the part in question. My information that she did so, was gained through Mr Barnett (my treasurer), who came to me, from Mr Baker, just as I was stepping into a boat to cross the Island, on business of some consequence to myself, and I told Mr Barnett to tell the Prompter to have the bill made out as I directed. In what manner this was conveyed to Miss Rock (for she bitterly complains of the message sent) of course, I cannot say. That evening I received a note from Miss R, couched in the most imperative mood, in which she informed me that she would not be “commanded or driven”. I met the lady that evening in the Theatre, and, as we played together in Beauty and the Beast, I did not see fit to speak to her upon the subject of the note, not wishing to come to any personal disagreement when both immediately before the public. On the following morning (Wednesday), Mr Baker informed me that Miss Rock still refused. I told him to try and get Mrs Sutherland to play the part. That was objected to by her husband. What was now to be done- change the piece I decidedly not; I had to do that only the night before, for Mr Hill, who was ill. I must plead guilty to having been extremely angry at Miss Rock’s conduct, but I think that no one will say that I had not reason to be so; and when Mr Baker informed me of the difficulties thrown in my way, I told him to tell the company that “the Theatre must close.” He did so. I now found myself in great difficulty, but I immediately set to work energetically to try and arrange my affairs. Miss Rock says, in a letter to me, that I could not be found, during the day, by Mr Hill or any of my company. This is not the fact. During the business hours of the day, it is perfectly true that I was not at my usual quarters; but why? I was closely engaged making arrangements for my future proceedings, and endeavouring to collect monies due to me (in which I fortunately succeeded) for the purpose of paying my carpenters, &c. No one connected with my Theatre can say that I owe them aught; it is not attempted: and if I have ruined myself, I have at least the consolation of knowing that there are no theatrical claims against me. I returned to my hotel at dinner time. I was seen there by many, and had much conversation with and advice from my friends, as to how I was to proceed. At eight o’clock in the evening, I heard that Mr Hill, the rest of the company, and (mirabile dacts) Miss Rock!! Walked down to the Theatre as usual. Why any one should have gone, I do not know, after receiving the message I sent by my prompter; by why Miss Rock should have gone, passes comprehension. It could not have been to play Marie, which she had positively refused to do. Learning that no notice had been placed upon my doors, I gave the Treasurer an order upon the subject. Hearing also that a gentleman and a lady of the highest respectability had presented themselves at the Box Office for admission, I made it my business to wait upon the parties to explain and apologize for the doors being closed, which I believe that I did to their entire satisfaction. I also wrote notes to some constant patrons of the Theatre. Under date of the 19th instant, I have been served with a Lawyer’s Letter, at the suit of Mr Chas Hill, for closing my Theatre; but I do not fear the result. I have also been furnished with a paper signed by the majority of the company, which informs me that they were, “one and all, at the Theatre, prepared to rehearse the performance” for Wednesday evening. This is signed by Mr and Mrs Hill and Miss Rock, and in the face too of Miss Rock’s informing me, in black and white, that “our party” (meaning the Hill family and herself) were not there, but only going to set off to the Theatre when they heard of the rehearsal being stopped. The circular above referred to, I have reason to know, is now regretted by many who signed it; it was subscribed to in a moment of excitement, formented by the person who heads it: – but the difficulty which is implied by the terms in which it is couched, is now removed, and I trust in a few days, to be able to present the greater part of the old favourites of my company before the public, with reinforcement of talent. I fear that I am trespassing at too great length upon your patience: but permit me, before I close, and state, in explanation of all that has happened, a very general belief within the walls of the Theatre, and shared in by most of those who are cognizant of its concerts; it is this, Miss Rock and Mr and Mrs C Hill, have been in the habit of travelling together, giving vaudeville dramatic entertainments throughout the United States. They are under engagements to one another to do so again. They have just, received the proceeds of lucrative benefits, and they are now anxious to set off on what is almost always a money-making speculation, and we have seen the way in which they now embarrass me, and drive me to cancel engagements, or shut up my Theatre.

Your most obedient servant,
J Nickinson.

Montreal Gazette, 24 July 1843, page 2

Theatre Royal

We learn that the differences which took place between the manager of the Theatre, on the one side, and Mr Hill and Miss Rock, upon the other, have been amicably adjusted, and that, in consequence, the Theatre will be opened this evening, with the melo-drama of Robert Macaire, Miss Rock performing the character, the rejection of which was the cause of the late difficulty, which terminated in the closing of this favourite place of amusement. We are informed that concessions have been made upon both sides, and that Mr Nickinson appears to be satisfied, that he was in error in the supposition expressed in hi s letter to us (which appeared in Saturday’s paper) to the effect that Mr Hill and Miss Rock were anxious to set off upon a professional tour, and therefore abruptly caused the closing of his doors. There appears to us to have been faults on both sides, and the sooner the occurrences are forgotten, the better for the Theatre.

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