Gilliandr's Blog

Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments



New Life for Droopy Hairdos, Victoria, 1964

Daily Colonist, 12 January 1964

New Life for Droopy Hairdos….

We’re in the mood to discourse on permanents today … mainly because we’ve had so many over the years… and have finally found one that doesn’t start off by looking so stiff and set that you tell people “it’ll soften out after the next shampoo” … or conversely, so soft that it’s practically non-existent and the next shampoo is all that’s needed to brush it off completely… we got a very superior permanent at the House of Glamour several weeks before Christmas… known as a body permanent, in that it doesn’t really make your hair curly but holds line and shape, which is what all the new hair styles consist of….in fact curls, as such, are dead as a dodo… we’re completely happy with it, and think you would be too… another plus about the House of Glamour’s permanents… they’re comfortable and fast… you recline in a comfortable chair, sipping coffee and scanning the latest magazines… and first thing you know you’re finished and looking more excitingly glamorous than you ever though possible… or leaving glamour aside, certainly beautifully and smartly groomed… a nice way to start this nice new year would be a House of Glamour permanent, and a new hair style by Danny, or one of his award-winning stylists at the House of Glamour, 655 View St


Ingersoll Rock Drills, 1907

Canadian Contract Record, Vol 17, no 49, 6 Feb 1907 page 11

Ingersoll Rock Drills

Three of the ten of our “Ingersoll” steam drills used by Messrs Laurin and Leitch is excavating rock at St Louis de Mile End, Quebec.  These rock drills are fully details in catalogue 84.

Contractor’s Plant

“Ingersoll” Air compressors and rock drills; “Idgerwood” hoisting engines and Ballast unloaders; “Gales” rock breakers; Allis-Chalmers Steam shovels; “Bullock” electric motors and generators.

Allis-Chalmers-Bullock Limited

Head Office and Works: Montreal

District offices – Montreal – Sovereign Bank Building  New Glasgow – NS Telephone building Winnipeg – 253 Notre Dame Ave  Toronto – Traders’ Bank Building Nelson – Josephine Street Vancouver – 416 Seymour Street

Culture of the History Celebrity or Valorizing the Study of History…


I received this announcement in my email recently, and it started me thinking about how in Canada we valorize – or don’t – our history and our historians.  In the UK it appears that history is valued.  Its television channels, commercial and public, produce historical documentaries.  It has a number of historical publications for the general public, and its historians are given a large role in disseminating their history. I think this announcement shows this.

In Canada we are rarely treated to our history on television.  There have been “Big Projects” like “Canada – A People’s History” and “Canada – A Story of Us” which have been produced, but the smaller stories are missing.  These large national narratives are interesting, but I think that Canadian history documentaries miss the more regional, more compact stories.  Canada has a large and varied history, there is much that can be found and produced.  They don’t have to be these mega projects, trying to encapsulate the entire history of the country, costing large amounts of money to get an audience.  You would think that the smaller story (and likely the smaller budget) would be considered a good way to fill the market?

And our historians – we have some brilliant historians in Canada.  I know that not many of them are known to the general public, but they should be.  Why aren’t they being asked to present our history on television?  Why aren’t we having weekends celebrating our histories?

I look at the “History Channel” and see it as a lost opportunity.  Right now it doesn’t show a hell of a lot of history, (no Ancient Aliens is not history – nor is Big Rig Warriors, etc).  When it began many a year ago, it did try to show some Canadian history in between the re-runs of JAG, but that has stopped.  CBC only does the ‘big’ shows.

We have “Canada’s History” a really good magazine, but I don’t see it on the news stands very often. It tends to be found in larger book sellers or specialized magazine stores. Try and find it at the local drugstore or grocery store – no.  In Britain their history magazines enjoy a larger circulation.

Many will argue that there is no market for Canadian history, and I beg to disagree.  Canadians and their Pasts demonstrated that Canadians are interested in their history, personal and regional.  Canadians are open to hearing about their pasts, and we have a pool of talent who can provide the information, we just don’t have the intermediaries in the media who want to bring the two together.

I have no answers, sadly, just these questions.  As a historian myself, and a consumer of a lot of “public history” I am constantly amazed at what other countries produce on their histories.  From the small story to the larger narrative, they seem to be able to get their history on the air, on the internet, and in the public space.  Why not here?


Women in the Senate, Montreal, 1930

Montreal Daily Star, 19 Feb 1930, page 4

Another goal reached

It is the women themselves that have gained this victory for their sex.4ds19feb1930-cartoon

Two Canadian Soldiers Escaped from German Camp – 1917

Montreal Gazette, 4 July 1917, page 2

Two Canadian Soldiers Escaped from German Camp

Were in right spirit to appreciate Dominion Day when they reached London

Were taken in June last

Wretched treatment, bad food and unhealthy surroundings caused determination to escape

Special cable from the Gazette’s Resident Staff Correspondent

London – July 3 – Two Canadian soldiers who were in the right spirit to appreciate Dominion Day were Privates FC Macdonald 106416 of Fox Warren, Man, and J O’Brien 73194 of Moose Jaw, Sask who had just arrived in London in time for the Dominion Day festivities after escaping from a German prison camp where they had spent the past year.

Private Macdonald, who enlisted in the 1st Mounted Rifles of Winnipeg, was captured in June of last year, after having been wounded in the knee and in the eyes with shrapnel, but he is now recovered from both injuries.  Private O’Brien who belonged to the 28th Battalion was buried for two hours in a crater, but was taken out unhurt by the Germans.

Both men were sent in the internment camp at Dulmen.  The wretched treatment they received from the officers, the bad food they were given and the unhealthy surroundings made them determine at the outset of their imprisonment to get away if possible.  Macdonald made four attempts at escape, and O’Brien made two attempts, all of which were unsuccessful.  Each failure was punished by period of bread and water diet and confinement to underground cells, where their beds consisted of bare boards. Finally, they managed to slip away while engaged in working with a party.  Just how they escaped cannot now be explained.  They still retained their identity discs attached to the wrists, which proved their story to the Dutch authorities, and they were shown every kindness.

General Turner has assured both men that they would not be sent to the front again, as theoretically they are still prisoners of war.  Both Macdonald and O’Brien are Canadian born.

The Campbells are Going, 1911

Montreal Daily Star 20 May 1911 pg. 1

campbells are going

[Cartoon] The Campbells Are Going

(All roads lead out of Scotland)

Distant voices (singing) “My Heart’s in the Heilans

Caledonia – “Ay, but the rest of ye is awa”

(Official returns, showing a large decrease in the population of Scotland, are causing alarm in Caledonia circles)

International Cricket Match, New York, 1854

Coventry Herald, 1 September 1854 page 3


International Cricket Match – The return match between Canada and New York came off on the 19th and 20th ult. The Canadians came into New York in August last, and played the match on the St George’s-ground, which terminated after two days beautiful play in favour of the New Yorkers by 24 runs. The score on that occasion was United States first innings, 62; second ditto, 71; total 133.  Canadians, first innings, 45; second ditte, 54, total 99. This present match has terminated in favour of the Canadians with ten wickets to spare.  The conquering game will probably not be played till next year.  The Cricketers of Canada treated their New York brethren with most hearty hospitality.  A pleasing incident occurred at the close of the game, as then the British colours floated at one end of the stand, and the stars and stripes at the other.  The moment the game was ended, some American gentlemen ordered the stars and stripes to be lowered, which was done accordingly; but as soon as the Canadian concourse of visitors observed it, they, by acclamation, immediately demanded theirs to be hoisted again, which after some little difficulty was done.  As a mark of the delicate feelings of the Canadians on the occasion, they ordered the British flag to be hauled down and the halyards unrove, and not until the American flag was re-hoisted under the direction of Captain Denne, was the British flag allowed to float again.  Three cheers were given for the Queen, and three for the President of the United States.  The Canadians and the New Yorkers then sat down to a sumptuous feast.  The splendid Band of the Canadian Rifles was present.  Amongst the toasts were those of the health of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and the President of the United States, all of which were received with rapturous applause.

St Andrew’s Day in Canada, St John, NB, 1920

Aberdeen Press and Journal, 23 December 1920, page 6

St Andrew’s Day in Canada

The “Daily Telegraph” of St John, New Brunswick, for December 1, contains a four-column report of the celebration of St Andrew’s Day by the St John Society.  No fewer than 400 members and friends were present, and Judge Grimmer, in a short speech, humourously alluded to the “dry” state of the Province prohibiting some of the old time Scots customs.

The orator of the evening was the Rev W Bruce Muir, and following his address the “Passin’ ‘o the Mull” took place to the accompaniment of pipe music.  The proceedings ended with a dance, in the programme of which the reel and Strathspey, the Highland schottische, and the reel of Tulloch, were included.

During the evening about twenty poetical greetings were exchanged with Societies as distant as New York, Vancouver, and Edinburgh.

Attitude of Irish-Canadians, Lt-Col Trihey, New York, 1917

Montreal Gazette, 3 July 1917, page 2

Lieut-Col Trihey on attitude of Irish-Canadians

Deeply concerned on situation in Ireland but will their duty as Canadians

Gives view to NY Paper

Former commanding officer of Irish Rangers confesses his chagrin over disbanding of the battalion

(Special to the Gazette)

New York – July 2 – Lt-Col Henry J Trihey of Montreal, who commanded the now disbanded regiment of Irish Canadian Rangers, makes the following statement over his signature to the New York Post:

“Irish-Canadians always deeply interested in the welfare of Ireland, have never yet allowed that interest to interfere with their duty to Canada.  They are Canadians.

“On the outbreak of war and at the first call for volunteers, Irish-Canadians came forward and continued voluntarily to respond as Canada made further calls, until scores of thousands of Irish-Canadians had gone overseas, diffused among the various Canadian units.

“During the first eighteen months of war no Canadian unit particularly represented the Irish-Canadian population, although the Scotch, English and French populations had each from the beginning its special regiment.

“At the end of 1915 the Canadian Government having given evidence of its desire to feature battalions representing different shades of national sentiment in Canada, with a view to encouraging voluntary enlistment, was asked by me for authority to raise an Irish-Canadian  regiment for overseas service.  This authority having been granted, patriotic Irish-Canadian citizens provided a fund of $40 000 to defray the cost of recruiting and of organizing.

“In February 1916, the organizing of the Irish-Canadian Rangers was begun.  The first poster issued bore the legend ‘Small Nations must be free’.  The particular appeal was to those who desired to share in the honor of representing in this unit, Irish-Canadian loyalty to Canada, at the front, fighting for the principle proclaimed on the poster.

Assurances given

“Two members of Sir Robert Borden’s cabinet – one of them Minister of Militia – from platforms, in the city of Montreal, stated that the government of Canada pledged itself that the Irish-Canadian Rangers would go to France as a unit representing Irish-Canadians. This statement was made at recruiting meetings as a special inducement to Irish-Canadians to enlist in this regiment. Relying on this pledge and animated by loyalty to Canada, Irish-Canadians volunteered despite the aftermath of the Irish rebellion of Easter, 1916.  The Irish-Canadian Rangers fully organized arrived in England on December 26, 1916.  On January 3, 1917, I learned that the disbandment of the regiment had been officially decreed in England, but that it was the intention of the English government first to  send the Irish-Canadian Rangers to parade through Ireland.  On confirming this I tendered my resignation as officer commanding and returned to Canada.  All efforts from Canada were unavailing: the parade through Ireland occurred and the regiment was disbanded May 23, 1917.

“The disbanded men were scattered among English-Canadian regiments.

“Not one of the Irish-Canadian officers, not even our Catholic chaplain was sent with the men.  The officers were not used: they were simply ignored.

Reasons for Discontent

“Today the Irish-Canadian knows of the Irish-Canadian regiment, that Irish-Canadian loyalty organised to symbolize itself in Canada’s effort for the freedom of small nations.  He realizes what he formerly heard, but did not appreciate that Ireland is under martial law, and is occupied by an English army.  He reads in the press that English soldiers in Dublin and Cork with rifle and with machine gun fight those of his kinsmen who believe Ireland to be a small nation worthy of freedom.  He wonders if the conscripting of 100 000 more Canadians would be necessary if the 150 000 men comprising the English army in Ireland were sent to fight in France.  He also wonders where Canadians now may best maintain the war purpose vital to Canada small – small nations must be free.

“If conscription becomes law of course Irish-Canadians will loyally observe the law, for they are Canadians.

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