While there are several, earlier, unverifiable claims to the bicycle invention, the earliest verifiable claim is to a German inventor in the early 1800s. This simple mode of transportation has seen evolution, adaptations, and various safety enhancements through the years.
This post is inspired by photographs in our collection that feature bicycles and, coincidentally, is published a day before World Bicycle Day on June 3. So, in the famous words of Freddy Mercury, “Get on your bikes and ride!” Enjoy the read!
By Karen A., Visitor Host Born in Jackson Township, Stark County, Ohio, on May 28th 1840, Joseph Dick was a machinist in Oshawa from 1863 util 1874, later becoming a proprietor of his own business, Dick’s Agricultural Works, located in Canton, Ohio. What’s really interesting about Joseph is his patent from 1869 for the “improvement…
All articles originally appeared in the Ontario Reformer
June 1, 1922, page 1 Wm. Culling Quits The Police Force Mr. William Culling who for the past two years has been a member of the Oshawa Police Force, has resigned his position and will confine his attention to his business at Oshawa-on-the-Lake where he conducts an ice cream parlor. Mr. Herbert Flintoff, an Oshawa man has accepted the position and commenced upon his new duties this morning. Mr. Flintoff is well known here and should make a valuable acquisition to Chief of Police Friend’s staff.
Page 2 Spend Your Money in Oshawa The “Buy-in Oshawa” campaign, in which several local merchants are co=operating for the net ten days, got away to an excellent start this morning. It is right that it should, and its popularity may be expected to increase each day.
During these ten days the merchants will make an earnest effort to convince skeptics that by buying in Oshawa they are not only being local to the merchants and the town, but to themselves. The merchants are offering big values for the prices asked, and The Reformer believes that if fair-minded persons, who have been buying considerable quantities of goods in Toronto, will only give the stores a fair trial more money will be kept in Oshawa in the future…
Be loyal to your community. Take advantage of the splendid prices offered in local stores. Profit by your experience in so doing, and help make it an even better down in which to live.
3 Jun 1922, p. 3 Building Forty Cellars Mayor Stacey is constructing Cellars under forty houses this season, most of the on Verdun Road, and in that vicinity. The mayor stated last evening that he has had numerous enquires for houses in the past few weeks, more in fact than for some years at this season.
Butter Down, Eggs Up Butter has been 45¢ a pound on Oshawa market for over a year, but this morning found Mrs. Oshawa Housewife able to buy the product at 35¢., the reason being the abundant supply, far greater than the demand. But when one product comes down in price another goes up. It was ever thus, and so 35¢ a dozen was asked for eggs, after the prevailing price of many weeks of 30¢. There was an abundant supply of rhubarb at 5¢ and 10¢ a bunch, and some potatoes at 35¢ a basket. A few chickens flew away at 35¢ a pound.
8 Jun 1922, p. 2 Editorial Comment If the town of Oshawa were in the dairy business, it would have some splendid pasture for cattle along the sides of the roads on the outskirts of the municipality. However, as there is no possibility of this kind of public ownership being entered into, the Council could considerable improve the appearance of the town by having this long grass cut.
13 Jun 1922, p. 1, 2 Town Should Have Dead Fish Buried Suggested that Boys Be Paid to Gather Shiners Up To Be Destroyed Summer residents at Oshawa-on-the-Lake, and visitors to Lakeview Park, have been complaining for some weeks past of the fishy odor from the thousands of decaying shiners along the shore. Oshawa has fared no better nor no worse than other places along the north shore of lake Ontario, but that does not make the visits of Oshawa people to the lakeshore any more enjoyable. The presence of the dead fish, coupled with the odor, has interfered with the bathing all along the lakeshore…
Messrs Wm. Culling and James Smith, having sandy beaches in front of their property at Oshawa-on-the-Lake raked the dead fish together and buried them. The suggestion was made to The Reformer that the council or the Park Board should direct the cleaning up of the fish in from of Lakeview Park….
20 Jun 1922, p. 1 Mel Thompson To Manage New Martin Theatre Mr. Mel Thompson, who is known to many Oshawa people as having been business manager for Mr. Ernie Marks, has been appointed resident manager of The New Martin Theatre. Mr. Thompson comes to Oshawa from the Orillia News Letter and before coming here, besides acting as business manager for Mr. Marks for eight seasons, was connected with various amusement companies in Chatham, Owen Sound and other cities. He has had wide experience in the theatrical business and Oshawa theatre patrons will be pleased to learn of his appointment. Mr. Thompson states that during this coming summer he intends to introduce the cold blast ventilating system which, he states will make the auditorium of the theatre comfortably cool on even the warmest days.
22 Jun 1922, p. 1 Mr GW McLaughlin Gives Union Cemetery To Town of Oshawa, Also $500 Toward Its Upkeep Part Of Cash Gift Is To Be Used To Defray Cost of Moving Bodies of Veterans Into Plot Set Aside For Soldiers’ Graves COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY ACCEPTS OFFER AND VOICES APPRECIATION The Union Cemetery, between Whitby and Oshawa, will become the property of the Town of Oshawa on July 1. This splendid gift was made formally to the Town Council, in special session, last night by Mr. George W McLaughlin, who has secured all the stock of the present holding company. Needless to say, the offer was speedily accepted, and the Town Clerk was unanimously instructed to write Mr. McLaughlin expressing the sincere thanks of the corporation.
Mr. McLaughlin also gives $500 to be used as a nucleus for a fund to administer the property. Part of this money he suggests be used to move bodies of soldiers to the veterans’ plot.
There are about 30 acres in the cemetery, the part of it on the south side of the Toronto and Eastern tracks only having been opened. How the cemetery will be governed by the Town has yet to be decided…
24 Jun 1922, p. 1 $90,000 IS BUILDING FUND OBJECTIVE OF ST.GEORGE’S CHURCH Campaign To Be Launched at Congregational Meeting Monday Night HAVE $11,000 ON HAND Aim to Raise $23,000 Day for Three Days—Teams Chosen With an objective of $90,000, exclusive of the cash on hand the members of St. George’s Anglican Church on Tuesday start a campaign for the raising of the funds necessary for the erection of the proposed new memorial church. The canvass of the congregation will extend over Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with a daily objective of about $23,000. The foundation of the church on Centre Street will be completed next Thursday and if the campaign is successful it is the intention of the committee in charge to let the contract for the superstructure this year…
At the present time the congregation has on hand something around $11,000, which was realized by the sale of the old property. Besides this amount there is a fund which has been built up by various organizations in the church during the past few years with the object of assisting in the erection of the church. This money, most of which has been raised by the women, will be devoted to furnishing the church.
Nearly every window in the proposed edifice has already been spoken for by some member or friend of the congregation who intends to make a memorial to some departed one, but at the present time no names are available for publication in this connection…
27 Jun 1922, p. 2 Boy Scouts Have A Splendid Hike An enthusiastic troop of boy scouts participated in the despatch (sic) run and hike held Saturday afternoon under Boy Scout auspices to Edmundson’s Woods at Tooley’s Mill. The boys were in charge of Mr. Chapman, Honorary Scoutmaster, and Assistant Scoutmaster Jas. Lovell. Several of the boys participated in the cooking contests, after which all had a swim.
On Dominion Day, next Saturday, the scouts will hold an all-day hike to the same locality, in all probability, when about thirty boys will be in attendance. The boys are now aiming at passing the tests for a First Class scout and will try some of these next Saturday. After the First Class Scouts come the Kin’s Scouts, and some of the Oshawa boys already have this class in view.
29 Jun 1922, p. 1 No Mail Delivery On Dominion Day On Dominion Day, July 1, which falls next Saturday, the General Delivery and Registered Letter wickets of the Oshawa Post Office will be open between the hours of nine and eleven o’clock in the morning. Stamps may be procured at the General Delivery wicket at that time.
There will be no delivery of mail by letter-carrier on that date and only one collection of mail from the street letter boxes. This collection will be at five o’clock in the afternoon. All outgoing mails will be despatched as usual.
As summer heat builds, more people will rely on air conditioning units to keep cool. No air conditioning? No problem! There were a variety of options for ‘cooling off’ on a hot summer day before the days of air conditioning! Here are a few of the creative ways people in Oshawa beat the heat at the turn of the 20th century.
Parks are a wonderful place to cool off; trees absorb heat, and ponds and lakes help further cool the temperature in the air. The development of city parks boomed in the late 1800s and early 1900s.1 Early city parks were usually privately owned land made available, for a small fee, to the public. This model evolved after WWII.
An example of this type of privately owned park was Prospect Park (located where Parkwood Estate is today). In 1880, Eli Edmondson landscaped the grounds with ornamental gardens, gazebos, and water fountains that would have provided an easy way to cool off in the summer!
One of the best parks to cool off in would be Oshawa-on-the-Lake (today’s Lakeview Park). For the citizens of our community, it is a favourite location to spend a summer’s day, swimming and relaxing along the sandy beach. There is an abundance of large trees providing shade to sit under to escape the summer sun or to take an afternoon nap!
Awnings became popular as a way to block out the sun while still allowing daylight and air to enter into storefronts that needed ventilation. On rainy days, awnings made it possible for passersby to enjoy window-shopping excursions. Throughout their history, awnings have had great appeal. Along with drapes, curtains, shutters, and blinds, they provided natural climate control in an age before air conditioning. By blocking out the sun’s rays while admitting daylight and allowing air to circulate between interior and exterior, they were efficient and cost effective.
Covered porches, such as the one pictured below, helped reduce the amount of direct sunlight hitting the outside walls and downstairs windows. A covered porch also allowed people to sit outside during the evening and early in the night when it was cooler. The porch eventually turned into a place to socialize with friends and family while cooling off after a long hot day.
Summer kitchens during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Ontario had a number of practical applications. They were usually a wing constructed on the rear of the home. Often, the wood stove in the home would be disassembled and moved into the summer kitchen.2 At Henry House, the summer kitchen is located at the back of the house, off the main kitchen. This extension of the home was used during the hot summer months to separate hot kitchen activities from the rest of the house during the warmer months – a key way to survive the summer before the advent of the modern air conditioning.
Fans, hats, and parasols are not just fashion accessories. They were useful tools used to beat the heat of the summer months. Since the sun heats the earth through radiation, one of the best defences against the summer heat for a Victorian woman was protection from the sun’s rays. Wide-brimmed hats and parasols not only protected but were essential fashion accessories. After a stroll in the sun, what better way to cool down than to let nature protect—with its cooling canopy of shade.
One of my current projects here in the archives is re-organizing our oversize photograph and document boxes. This will make finding photographs and documents much easier. Of course, going through these boxes sometimes brings about mysteries or excitement, especially when I find something that hasn’t been seen in some time.
One such document that made many of us here at the museum stop and look was a poster from the Jubilee Pavilion, advertising Ozzie Williams and his Orchestra. No one had seen the poster in some time, which led to the question, who was Ozzie Williams and his Orchestra, and what was his connection to the Jubilee Pavilion?
Ozzie Williams, writes the website The Toronto Historical Jukebox, started his career all the way back in the early 1930s. Williams made his name as a band leader leading orchestras at popular dance halls in Toronto, like the Kingsway Club and the Embassy.
The 1930s were the time of the “Big Band,” large orchestra-type bands that played jazz music. Big Bands enjoyed wide success through their radio work and public appearances, like in dance halls.
Thinking of dance halls, the Jubilee Pavilion has a special place amongst many residents of Oshawa. Built in 1927, it has served as the venue for many bands over their almost 100 years in service. Thanks to some sleuthing in the Toronto Star Archives through the Toronto Public Library, I learned that Williams played at the Jube in 1936. In his book, Let’s Dance: A Celebration of Ontario’s Dance Halls and Summer Dance Pavilions, Peter Young writes, “Big Bands were usually hired [at the Jube] for the whole summer, performing six nights per week, and would often stay in cottages very nearby… Some of the popular bands to perform at the Jube included Ozzie Williams, Stan Williams and His Blue Marines, Boyd Valleau, Jack Denton and Pat Riccio.”
From Young’s excerpt, we learn more of Williams’s time here in Oshawa. The fact that bands were hired for an entire summer explains why the poster has June, July, and August on the bottom. Also, that many bands stayed in cottages in Lakeview Park explains why we have a photograph of Williams in our Lowry Collection. The Lowry Lakeview Park Collection contains hundreds of photographs of Lakeview Park, mostly from the 1930s. In this photograph, Williams sitting with an individual named Georgie Robinson. We can assume that this photograph was taken when Williams lived in the Park
Although Williams’s entire life is still a mystery, his time here in Oshawa seemed rather busy, with many nights played at the Jube. I absolutely loved looking in Williams’s time here in Oshawa. All of this really gives us a snapshot at what nights were like at the Jube and the bands that played there.
You may have heard that the Oshawa Museum is gearing up for Be Prepared, a new feature exhibit about local Guiding and Scouting, set to open in the Fall. My family was involved in Guiding and Scouting for many years. I was involved as a child, and my children have participated in the organizations as well.
In previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned my family’s campfire blankets. When the Museum announced this exhibit, my father, Roland Thurn, generously donated his campfire blanket to the Museum. I spent a day or two reexamining the blanket in its glory. Dad always had more patches/badges, and better patches/badges, than we did. In true Thurn fashion, I created a spreadsheet to track what was sewn on. Since patches can be very similar, I needed to add columns as I went along. The final identifiers are type (novelty, uniform, patrol), shape, background colour, text, text colour, trim colour, organization, details, year, thread colour, and notes (See photo).
The oldest patches date back to the 1960s when Roland was a part of The Life Boys organization. The Life Boys was a Christian organization similar to Scouting. It is an offshoot of the Boys Brigade that was founded in 1883, now known as the Christian Service Brigade. The logos on each are a variation of a blue and gold life preserver and anchor with the motto, ‘Sure and Steadfast.’
Roland re-joined the Scouting movement when his son, my brother, was old enough to join Beavers. In Port Credit, Ontario, they were a part of the 5th Port Credit group. However, after only a year, the family moved to Oshawa where they joined the 24th Oshawa unit.
There are so many patches that reveal how committed the leaders in this group were, patches representing Apple Day (I still get apples on Apple Day if I happen to be out), Trees Canada, Pinewood Derby Kub Kar races (held at Camp Samac), Winter Activity Days, and Jamborees. The pièce de résistance is a 10-inch cross-stitched wolf Roland’s mother made. He sewed it at the centre of the blanket, where Scouters and Guiders sometimes cut a hole to create a poncho.
Working on this project inspired me to unpack my blanket and start sewing on unattached patches so I could donate it to the OM too. Did you ever have a campfire blanket from Guiding or Scouting? What is your favourite patch or memory associated with it? You can see Roland’s blanket displayed when Be Prepared opens this fall.