Gilliandr's Blog

Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments

Canadian Fashions, 1914


Montreal Daily Star, 26 November 1914, page 11


By Lillian E Young

Brass buttons do make an appeal.  We always did accept that assertion in the abstract, but now no more convincing proof of the respect accorded them, and all things military is needed than the alacrity with which such styles have been adopted and brought to the fore of the fashion world.

The war, of course, is responsible, and as one young woman was heard to remark when trying on a martial looking suit, “I almost feel as if I could go there and enlist.”

Here is one in black velvet with oxidized silver buttons and braid, and a woven silk hussar such in dull blue. The fur for the military collar and cuffs may be of Australian opossum, taupe moufflon or skunk. The short jacket stands outward at its lower edge and runs a trifle longer in back.

The fronts fasten closely about the neck and are trimmed on either side with horizontal strappings of silver braid.  The jacket hooks directly down the centre front.  A five inch band across the bottom of the jacket in front, holds in a barely perceptible fullness of the blouse portion above and is one with the entire back of the jacket, started from the underarm scam.



Mrs Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, 1907

Montreal Standard, 12 January 1907, page 8

Interesting Letter Written by a Notable Woman

Mrs Sarah Kellog of Denver, Color. Bearer of the Woman’s Relief Corps, Sends thanks to Mrs Pinkham.

The following letter was written by Mrs Kellog of 1628 Lincoln Ave, Denver, Colo, to Mrs Pinkham, Lynn, Mass:

Dear Mrs Pinkham:

“For five years I was troubled with a tumor which kept growing causing me intense agony and great mental of depression.  I was unable to attend to my house work, and life became a burden to me.  I was confined for days to my bed, lost my appetite, my courage and all hope.

“I hope not bear to think of an operation, and in my distress I tried every remedy which I thought would be of any use to me, and reading of the value of Lydia E Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound to sick women decided to give it a trial. I felt so discouraged that I had little hope of recovery, and when I began to feel better, after the second week, thought it only meant temporary relief; but to my great surprise I found that I kept gaining while the tumor lessened in size.

“The Compound continued to build up my general health and the tumor seemed to be absorbed, until in seven months the tumor was entirely gone and I a well woman. I am so thankful for my recovery that I ask you to publish my letter in newspapers, so other women may know of the wonderful curative powers of Lydia E Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound.”

When women are troubled with irregular or painful periods, weakness, displacements or ulceration of the female organs, that bearing-down feeling, inflammation, backache, flatulence, general debility, indigestion and nervous prostration, they should remember there is one tried and true remedy.  Lydia E Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound at once removes such trouble.

No other medicine in the world has received such widespread and unqualified endorsement.  No other medicine has such a record of cures of female trouble.

Mrs Pinkham invites all sick women to write her for advice.  She is daughter-in-law of Lydia E Pinkham and for twenty-five years under her direction and since her decease has been advising sick women free of charge.  She has guided thousands to health.  Address, Lynn, Mass.

Remember that it is Lydia E Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound that is curing women, and don’t allow any druggist to sell you anything else in its place.

Gaelic Old Smuggler Scotch, 1914

Montreal Daily Star, 27 November 1914, page 7


Ask for Gaelic Old Smuggler Scotch and insist upon getting it!

Hickey-Paulin(e) Wedding, Victoria, 1906

Victoria Colonist, 21 June 1906, page 2


Hickey-Pauline – The pretty church of St Luke’s, Cedar Hill, was the scene of a quiet little wedding yesterday afternoon when Nellie, the youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs F Pauline, of Oak Bay, was united in the holy bonds of matrimony to Daniel Louis Hickey, the well known electrician of Seattle. The Rev Mr Connell, rector of St Luke’s church, officiated at the ceremony. A reception was afterwards held at the home of the parents of the bride, when the happy couple received the congratulations of their many friends, and later in the evening left by the Princess Victoria for Seattle en route for California. On their return they will make their home in Seattle.

What girls may do – Independent Girl is a Valuable Worker, Montreal, 1914

Montreal Daily Star, 13 October 1914, page 11.


What Girls May Do

Independent Girl is Valuable as Worker

By Jessie Roberts

There are several opinions concerning the woman who is not obliged to earn a living, and who yet fills a salaried position.

Many contend that such a woman is taking bread from the mouths of others who must work or starve.  They say she has no right to work when she need not do so.  If she has a husband or a father who is able to support her, let her stay at home and leave the earning field to those who must depend upon themselves.

Others say that every woman has a right to the independence which self-earned money gives. That the relations between men and women would be better and happier if men did not support women in idleness.  Lately some one has come forward with the following expression on the subject.

The woman who goes out to earn a little extra pin money and is willing to take some job at a greatly reduced salary, since whatever she makes is just pure gain, that woman is distinctly harmful and entirely selfish. She runs salaries below the living margin, and her sisters, who must live on what they make, suffer in consequence.

But the right sort of woman who does not have to depend on her salary for sole income can be of immense value in bringing about a better state of affairs as to the standards and rewards of women’s work.

She can set herself steadily to the establishment of a proper recompense for labor given. She can insist on healthful surroundings, shorter hours, and humane treatment.  Since she is not afraid of losing her position, not being dependent upon it for subsistence, she can fight the battles of those who are weaker than she.

Fashion Hints, Montreal, 1914

Montreal Daily Star, 13 October 1914, page 11

Fashion Hints


By Lillian E Young

Don’t you think to-day’s sketch offers attractive suggestions for the making of your new embroidered or brocaded satin that you are planning for the season’s dressy afternoon gown?  This is really shown by special request, for a Mrs B writes in asking for a design for such a gown, and tells me that her material is palest gray satin embroidered with large, well-spaced roses in self color.  Your own material may be a brocade, or just a plain satin or taffeta: any of these will be applicable to this design.

The blouse is left open a little in front to show a glimpse of the white batiste vest from which a collar of the same is rolled back over the blouse.  By slashing either blouse front five inches in from the edge as far up as the bust line, and rounding off the ends, we are enabled to draw a broad, strap-like tab down over the girdle, while the rest of the blouse is gathered under the girdle, in the manner plainly shown herewith.

In the case of Mrs B’s gray satin, the girdle will be in plum-colored velour banded about the top with dark fur.  This ties in back and has a sash extended below the knees.

The tunic is cut in three sections, each gathered to the one above under a narrow flat fold of the dress goods. The lower line of all three flounces describes an arch at the front and the final one is bordered with fur.  It must be understood that neither of the flounces are gathered with much fullness, but with just sufficiently to conform with the necessary width of the modish tunic.

The underskirt should match the color and material of that usedin the [illegible] is mounted in flat plaits to the foundation of the skirt above.

The model is likewise suited to a cloth dress.  Any of the smart sponge-surfaced materials will combine nicely with taffeta or satin made up after the same fashion.

Update on a Brick Wall – Amy Jennings, 2018

My Brick Walls – Research that Frustrates

I have an update on a brick wall that I featured in November 2014.  I want to thank several cousins who have emailed me with the information which has since led to more information on Amy Jennings, and the re-reading of a document to correct sloppy handwriting. Many. many thanks to those who contacted me about this – so appreciated!

So, to recap – my brick wall was Amy Elizabeth Jennings, who was the sister of my great-grandmother Emma Jane. She emigrated with Emma Jane, Emma Jane’s husband Ernest Paulin, and his brother Herbert in 1884 to Canada – settling originally in Victoria, BC.

Shipping list, 1884
Shipping list, 1884

I know that she married William Momson on Oct 5th 1887 in Victoria, and then the trail goes cold.

Marriage record from BC 1887
Marriage record from BC 1887

Here is the thing – it is not Momson, although looking at the entry from her marriage one would expect it to read Momson – but it wasn’t, his name was Thomson.  And there is the answer.  Armed with her real married name, I have found that she had three children: William Herbert Thomson (1889-1890), Edith Amy Thomson (1891-1971) and Sidney James Thomson (1892-1983).  I know that Amy died in 1943 in Vancouver, and her husband died in 1904 in Nanaimo.
Regarding the pictures I mentioned in the original post:  “I do have these pictures, which came from my grandparents’ collection that my Mom identified as the “Mitchells” and said that they were related to her Nanny [Jennings] and that the picture was from BC. Are they Amy’s family?”

From the collection of my grandparents
From the collection of my grandparents


Yes, the Mitchells are connected to Amy…… Edith Amy Thomson married Andrew Henry Mitchell and they had two daughters that I know about – Ellen (1914) and Florence (1917).  So the pictures identified as the Mitchells are likely the family of Amy’s daughter Edith.  I would love to get in contact with any of the Mitchells to identify for certain the people in the pictures from the family collection – so please if you are related contact me!

The Procession Question, Montreal, 1877

Montreal Daily Star, 13 July 1877, page 2

The Procession Question

[Opinions of the Press]

Some people have the habit of standing upon their rights, come what will.  It may be conceded that this disposition may be pushed too far in individual cases, and become so much temporary inconvenience.  At the same time, history is full of instances in which popular rights have been gained or maintained by just such dogged determination as that exhibited at Montreal on the part of Orangemen.  One is at a loss to know why a procession on their part should not be tolerated.  Such an incident may not be agreeable to the majority in Quebec, but in this world, and particularly in this country, we must give and take on matters of opinion in order to live together in reasonable harmony. – London Free Press

Whatever may be any one’s views of the wisdom or otherwise of holding an Orange celebration on the 12th of July, there is no room to question its legality, and being legal, those who engage in it are entitled to the full protection of the law. – Hamilton Spectator

The white feather of fear should never be shown by the authorities. The denial of any right is always a sufficient incentive to the strongest assertion of it.  Were the right to celebrate the 12th of July in their own way freely conceded to the Orangemen of Montreal by their Roman Catholic fellow citizens, it is not likely there would be such a fixed and strong determination to exercise it.  The avowed opposition to the proposed street parade of Thursday has had, therefore, the inevitable effect of inspiring Orangemen with a stronger resolution to carry out their purpose – if for no other reason than to vindicate their unquestionable right to do so.  If the Orangemen should, at the very last moment, reconsider their intention, they would be entitled the public appreciation of the sacrifice such a step would imply in the interests of the public peace, although a few may say that in such a self-denying course they had been actuated by fear.  If, however, they should hold their original intention to celebrate their anniversary by a procession, British law, which guarantees protection to every law abiding citizen, would be tarnished and dishonoured if it should fail to extend that protection to them.  At all events equal rights must be secured to every citizen of free Canada. – Whig

Out of deference to public feeling in the matter and not from fear of immediate consequences, they (Orangemen) can afford to abandon even yet that part of their programme which is most likely to give rise to disturbance.  While saying this we do not wish to be challenging in the slightest degree their right to walk the streets of Montreal.  They have not only a right to go in procession but also to be fully protected while they are in procession. – Globe.

Fashion and vulgarity, 1922/37

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


Fashion ought to be likened to a tide or epidemic; sometimes one might define it as a sort of hypnotism, seemingly exerted by the gods as a joke. Fashion has the power to appear temporarily in the guise of beauty, though it is the antithesis of beauty as often as not.

Vulgar clothes are those which, no matter what the fashion of the moment may be, are always too elaborate for the occasion; they are too exaggerated in style, or have accessories out of proportion.  People of uncultivated taste are apt to fancy distortions, and to exaggerate rather than modify the prevailing fashions.


Ostentation is always vulgar but extravagance is not necessarily vulgar- not by any means.  Extravagance can however become destroying if carried beyond one’s income.  Nearly everything that is beautiful or valuable is an extravagance- for most of us.


Hair ornaments always look well at a ball but are not especially appropriate – unless universally in fashion – on other occasions.  A lady in a ball dress with nothing added to the head looks a little like being hatless in the street.


Mourning Materials

Cotton, linen, woolen, and all lustreless silks, are suitable for deepest mourning.  Uncut velvet is as deep mourning as crepe, but cut velvet is not mourning at all! Nor is sating or lace. The only lace permissible is a plain or hemstitched net known as ‘footing’.

Fancy weaves in stockings are not mourning, nor is bright jet or silver. A very perplexing decree is that clothes entirely of white are deepest mourning but the addition of a black belt or hat or gloves produces second mourning.

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