Victorian Humour from the Oshawa Vindicator

These are a few jokes which were published in the Oshawa Vindicator during the year of 1867. They were found as a collection in a newspaper article published around the 1960s. The section was titled: “Victorian Wit: 1867 Humor Found in Paper.”

 

1.  “When I am in pecuniary difficulties,” said a pensive bankrupt, “my garden, my flowers, all fresh and sparkling in the morning, console my heart.”

“Indeed,” responded his sympathetic friend. “I should have thought they would remind you of your pecuniary troubles, for like your bills, they are all dew.”

 

2. “Now,” said the judge, “suppose you and I were turned into a horse and an ass, which would you prefer to be?”

“The ass, to be sure,” replied the lawyer. “Why?”, asked the judge.

“Because I have heard of an ass being a judge but a horse, never!”

 

3.  “A plain spoken women recently visited a married woman and asked her how she amused herself all day. ‘Amuse,’ said the other, starting. ‘Do you not know that I have my housework to do?’

‘Yes, I see you have it to do but as it is never done, I conclude you must have some other way of passing your time.’”

Month That Was – September 1948

Thursday September 2, 1948

Sun Skips Vancouver

Last month was the dullest August in Vancouver history, the Dominion Weather Bureau reported today. There were only 130 hours of sunshine compared with a 40 year average of 262. The previous “dull” was the August of 1944 when 180 sunlit hours were recorded.

 

Friday September 3, 1948

Knife Nicks Neck of Girl in Act

Alice Orton, target in a vaudeville knife-throwing act, narrowly escaped death Thursday night when her father missed his aim and nicked her neck.

The fourth of eight 13-inch knives which are supposed to outline Miss Orton’s sharply figure on a circular board, went a few inches wild and struck her neck, during a wild-west show at the open-air theatre.

Her father, “Tex” Orton, carried on with the act and threw the remaining four knives. She said it was the third close call she has had in the act’s 20 years.

 

Saturday September 4, 1948

Baby Brought Back To Life

A mother here now knows why May 13 spoke of her infant as a “miracle baby.”

Trudy was born to Mrs. Margaret Nystom with “RH” antibodies active in her blood. During postnatal surgery when the RH-laden blood was replaced by “replacement transfusions” the infant’s heart stopped for five minutes and her respiration for 30.

Trudy was delivered by caesarean operation her heart stopped and respiration ceased. To all appearances the child was dead.

Adrenalin brought the heart back into motion, the operation was completed and the child placed in an incubator. It was 30 minutes before respiration resumed.

 

Tuesday September 14, 1948

Known in 6,000 B.C.

Stockholm – (CP) – Hunters and fishermen roamed the forests of central Sweden 6,000 years before Christ, Sten Follorin, young Swedish scientist said in a paper published here recently. The first traces if peasant culture appeared about 3,000 B.C., he said.

 

Tuesday September 14, 1948

Scare for Fisherman

Folkestone, England – (CP) –  A naval mine disposal squad made harmless a 500-pound British sea mine caught in the nets of a Folkestone fishing boat in the English Channel.

 

Monday September 20, 1948

Find “Nudists”

Vancouver – (CP) – Police summoned by phone to a wharf here found two reported “nudists” fully dressed. The mother of the two girls, aged two and three, admitted they’d eluded her at bedtime earlier.

 

Monday September 20 1948

Drunk, Can’t Drive Again for 60 Years

Poole, Dorset, England – (CP) – It’ll be 60 years before Cyril Benham, 27 will be allowed to drive an automobile again.

That was the sentence he got for driving under the influence of liquor. It was alleged he collided with a wall twice, crashed into a closed railroad crossing and wound up against a porch.

 

Thursday September 23, 1948

Cheese Factory Burns

Brockville- Seot.23 – (CP) A Wednesday night fire virtually destroyed the 38-year-old cheese factory at the village of Philipsville, 29 miles northwest of here.  Volunteer firefighters from the village and the volunteer group from neighboring Delta, were able to do little to save the building because of lack of water. Origin of the blaze was unknown. Some equipment and all but the day’s make of cheese were removed.

 

Monday September 27, 1948

Giant Wasp’s Nest

An unusually large wasp’s nest was found by R.G. Saunders, 280 Celina Street, in a beech tree on Park Road North. The nest, mottled grey and brown in color, was pear shaped and measured 15 inches in diameter. It was turned over to Arthur Slyfield librarian of the O.C.V.I.

Month That Was – August 1951

Wednesday August 1, 1951

Ontario Spotlight:
Contest First Seats
Bronte (CP) – Ten candidates were nominated last night for the five seats on the council of this Lake Ontario community which finally attained status of a village after more than 100 years of trying. An election will be held Aug. 13.

Lost 50 years
Dundalk (CP) – Fifty years ago, Charles Wale of Hopeville, Ont., lost his gold watch in a field here, Alex Richardson, 12, recently found it and returned it to Mr. Wale, now ever 80. It was in fair condition, considering the length of time it lay in the field. The gold was tarnished and some of the wheels were rusty.

Sparking Lamp
A Canadian sparking lamp was shown at a lecture in Peterborough on life 100 years ago. It was explained that when a young man went to call on his girl friend in those days the girl’s mother lit the lamp. When it burnt out the caller had to leave.

Editorial Notes
Work is being done on the development of aeroplanes to fly five times faster than sound.  How, then, will the fellow in the control tower ever be able to get a message to them.

 

Thursday August 2, 1951

Dies Whiles Signing Will Bequest Ruled Invalid
Sydney, Australia (CP) – An ex-serviceman’s last wish to leave all his possessions, valued at more than $300, to a lifelong woman friend was nullified here when he died in the act of signing the will.

A justice of the peace and other witnesses were present when the man began to sign the document, but collapsed and died after writing his Christian names.

As he has no relatives and no dependents, he is officially assumed to have died intestate. Proceeds of the sale of his real and personal property will be transferred to general revenue.

A.A. House, deputy public trustee, explained that a will is not valid unless signed by witnesses in the presence of the executor. Even if the executor lost consciousness while witnesses were signing, the will would not be valid.

 

Friday August 3, 1951

Cow on Rampage
Reading, England (CP) – It wasn’t a bull in a china shop that caused the damage in this Berkshire town. It was a cow in a furniture shop. The animal escaped from a cattle market and did heavy damage to furniture before it was shot.

 

Saturday August 4, 1951

Joke Not Funny To Robber Hubby
Birmingham, Ala. (CP) – A jealous wife tipped police that her husband was a robber, then said it was all a joke.

But by that time the joke had gone too far, Detective C. L. Pierce said Thursday night – the husband had confessed to four holdups.

Pierce said Forrest Ford, 34, a former loan company employee, admitted the holdups.

The trip came in a letter from Mrs. Mable Ford, who later told officers she had written it only as a joke to “get even” with her husband.

Mrs. Ford said she was angry with her husband because he paid too much attention to another woman at party.

 

Thursday August 9, 1951

August 1951 - Laff-A-Day

 

Thursday April 16, 1951

Beat Labor Problem With 21 Children
A stork which for 24 years has been dive-bombing the home of Adelbert Smith, 56, Zurich, Ont. Farmer, paid another visit recently and brought, Mrs. Smith her 21st child, 19 whom are still living. The 45-year-old mother welcomed the latest arrival, a boy, and declared she is in favour of large families, for “folks who have them will never be lonely.’ Pop pa Smith experiences no farm labor problems, for his thirteen boys have become experts with tractors, and are ideal “handymen.” The happy couple are accustomed to large families as Mr. Smith was one of a family of 14, and his wife had five brothers and sisters.

 

Tuesday August 21, 1951

2 - August 1951 - Laff-A-Day

 

Monday August 27, 1951

What is a Canadian?
We are citizens of Canada, either by birth or by adoption and naturalization. We are citizens of the Commonwealth.

Our skins may be brown, or yellow or black or white, but we are Canadians. Our name may be Podolski, Fraser, Wong, Spermanti, Dubois, Schmidt or Jones. Our forefathers may have come from Glasgow, Prague, Tokyo, from Dublin, Bordeaux, Roterdam or Newcastle. We may be laborer, student, doctor, merchant, or machinist.

Whatever we are, whatever our occupation, whatever our background, if we accept Canada as our country, and with it the democratic way of life, we are Canadians.

We have the right to speak freely, to worship freely, but with these rights we must learn our duties, to speak wisely, to worship wisely, to choose our leaders wisely.

We inherit, along with 14million Canadians a vast continent, abounding in resources and opportunities for a good, healthy and a happy life.

We inherit two great cultures – the Anglo-saxon and the French – and more than thirty others as well. We are creating out of these a new and growing Canadian culture. We are at the dawn of great things, for us and our country. We are the builders of a great and free nation, of a great and free people.

It’s great to be a Canadian.  – Kiwanis International Magazine

Month That Was – July 1930

Wednesday July 2, 1930

Pickpocket Suspect Caught At Races

Hamilton, July 2 – Arrested by Inspector Ward of the City of Toronto, and Constable Lyell, of the Hamilton race track, at the Hamilton Jockey Club, yesterday, William Blair, Detroit was remanded on a charge of vagrancy in police court this morning. The officers picked him up after a complaint by a racing man who felt a hand in his pocket and turned to see Blair walking away.

 

Thursday July 3, 1930

Editorial Notes

A New York man killed himself in a theatre. This is carrying dramatics too far. – Chatham News

 

Friday July 4, 1930

Editorial Notes

“Are there any modern day witches?” asks a writer. We haven’t noticed anybody flying about on vacuum-cleaners in our district. – Punch

 

Saturday July 5, 1930

Chimney is Trap to Catch Burglar Entering Store

Saint John, July 5 – Tightly wedged 30 feet down inside the chimney of the N.B. liquor store building on Main Street, William C. Stackhouse shouted two hours for aid yesterday, before police located the source of his smothered cries. Firemen and police extricated him by cutting a gap in the wall and removing chimney bricks.

Charged with breaking and entering the liquor store with intent to steal, Stackhouse pleaded guilty and was given two years in Dorchester penitentiary by Acting Magistrate Williams in police court.

Police said Stackhouse tried to enter the liquor store via the skylight. He had fallen into the chimney and had been unable to climb out.

 

Thursday July 10, 1930

Britain Has Banned Apples From U.S.

Toronto, July 9-A.M. Wiseman, British Trade Commissioner in Canada for Ontario, has received official information from the British Government of an order just issued prohibiting the importation of raw apples from the United States into the United Kingdom, between July 7 and Nov. 15, with the exception of certain fancy grades.

Mr. Wiseman has no information as to why the ban is placed, but it was learned from other sources that it may be due to a fruit fly, known in the United States as the “railroad borer”, which is not believed to be in England.

 

Thursday July 10, 1930

Cheese makers to Compete

Kingston – A very comprehensive competition for the cheese makers of Frontenac County has been organized and five trophies and over $200 in prize money has been obtained. The object of the competition is to stimulate more interest in the dairy industry.

 

Thursday July 10, 1930

Unusual Bible

Kinston – A most unusual book is that owned by Mrs. W. Ashton of 45 King Street West, this city. It is a history of the Bible, printed by H. & E. Phinney, Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1829 and the pages measure only one inch by one and a half inches.  The volume is bound in leather and is in remarkably good state of preservation. The print is very clear and the volume is illustrated by small wood cuts. It is believed to be the only book of its kind in existence and Mrs. Ashton has refused some very high offers for it.

 

Monday July 21, 1930

Young Tree-sitter Injured in Fall

Hamilton, July 21 – Inspired by reports of many and wonderful endurance contests Lionel Clause decided to make a name as a tree sitter for himself.

He started by climbing to the top of a tree in his back yard, but his name now appears in print not because he shattered existing records, but because he slipped. The lad sustained a compound fracture of the skull and is in general hospital in a serious condition.

 

Thursday July 31, 1930

Editorial Notes:

The next man who suggests having a contest in hot weather should be tapped on the head with a large mallet

Editorial Notes:

Some people seem to have all the luck. Here’s one chap getting his picture in all the the papers just because he is wanted by the police.

Oshawa Celebrates Canada Day

On July 1, 1867, The British North America Act came into effect on July 1, 1867, uniting the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as “One Dominion under the name of Canada. “

From the Oshawa Daily Reformer, 1927
From the Oshawa Daily Reformer, 1927

In Oshawa, the passing of the BNA Act was a relatively quiet affair, even though it had been designated as a celebration of Confederation for the country.  The day started with the firing of guns and ringing of bells, and many houses flew flags.   There was a parade along King Street and speeches were given in front of Gibb’s Store and Fowke’s. A picnic was held later in the day at Cedar Dale for those people of the community who did not go elsewhere such as the town of Whitby to celebrate.  It is estimated that 7,000 were present for the events in Whitby.

On June 20, 1868, a proclamation of Governor General Lord Monck called upon all Canadians to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of Canada on July 1st.  The proclamation stated, “Now Know Ye, that I, Charles Stanley Viscount Monck, Governor General of Canada, do hereby proclaim and appoint WEDNESDAY, the FIRST day of JULY next, as the day on which the Anniversary of the formation of the Dominion a Canada be duly celebrated. And I do hereby enjoin and call upon all Her Majesty’s loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the due and proper celebration of the said Anniversary on the said FIRST day of JULY next.”

Oshawa residents observed this proclamation and celebrated the one year anniversary of Confederation.  The Oshawa Vindicator reported on July 8, 1868 that the 34th Battalion (later renamed the Ontario Regiment) assembled at 3 o’clock on Dominion Day on the Agricultural grounds in Whitby to receive a flag in the colours of the Queen.  The paper reported that “the attendance of spectators was immense, rendering it almost impossible to preserve sufficient space for moving the force.”

There was also a picnic held by the employees of the factories at Morris’s Grove on Dominion Day, and the Vindicator stated it was a success.  The picnic itself was slightly overshadowed by the presentation of the Colors, but nonetheless, attendance was still large.  There were games and a “friendly rivalry” between Foundry and Factory, and the Freeman family band played music throughout the day.  In the evening, the events continued in the drill shed where prizes were distributed, addresses were delivered and cheers given to the Queen, Messrs Miall, Glen, Whiting and Cowan, and to members of the committee.  Picnic attendees danced to the “late hour” to the music of the Freeman band.

Although not officially recognized as a holiday (it would be recognized as such in 1879), Oshawa residents celebrated Dominion Day in the years following confederation in similar manners.  Picnics were held, games were played, fireworks lit up the sky, and dancing continued into the night.  The 34th Battalion typically played a role in Dominion Day celebrations.

Canada’s Diamond Jubilee year was 1927, and both Canada and Oshawa celebrated this landmark.  The Oshawa Daily Reformer issued a special edition of their paper for June 30, commemorating 60 years since Confederation, particularly highlighting Oshawa’s achievements through the years.  In Lakeview Park, the Jubilee Pavilion was open for business on June 30th, 1927, with the official opening on Dominion Day.  The pavilion was named in honour of this landmark year.   Jubilee celebrations lasted for two days in Oshawa and included parades, sporting events, picnics, the playing of a speech from King George V, dancing, and fireworks.  The Ontario Regiment Band played, along with the Salvation Army Band, the Oshawa Kilties Band and the General Motors 75 member choir.  Dominion Day also included a commemorative ceremony for those who died during the Great War.  Memorial Park and Alexandra Park served as appropriate locales for Jubilee celebrations on Friday July 1, and on July 2, the party continued at Lakeview Park.

From the Oshawa Daily Reformer, 1927
From the Oshawa Daily Reformer, 1927

In 1967, the year of Canada’s Centennial, Oshawa appropriately celebrated this milestone.  The Oshawa Folk Festival had a Centennial Week celebration with events leading up to and including Dominion Day.  On July 1, there was a parade through to Alexandra Park and events through the afternoon, as well as events and fireworks at the Civic Auditorium.  Oshawa also took part in the “Wild Bells” program, with all church bells, factory whistles and sirens sounding when July 1 came in.  Hayward Murdoch, Oshawa’s Centennial Committee Chairman commented, “This seems like an excellent and appropriate way to usher in Canada’s 100th birthday.  We want to have as many bells, whistles and sirens sounding as possible.”

Celebrations for East Whitby Township took place in the Village of Columbus with the unveiling of a centennial plaque, a band concert, school choirs, barbeque and fireworks.

Oshawa also had a centennial house constructed at the corner of King Street and Melrose Street (just east of Harmony Road).  The project was coordinated by the Oshawa Builders Association, and profits of the sale of the home went to the Oshawa Retarded Children’s Association (now operating today as Oshawa/Clarington Association for Community Living).

In 1982, the name of the holiday was officially changed from “Dominion Day” to “Canada Day.”  Since 1984, Oshawa’s largest Canada Day celebrations have taken place in Lakeview Park.  In 1985, the opening of Guy House coincided with Canada Day festivities, and the opening of the new pier also took place on July 1, 1987.  In 1988, an elephant from the Bowmanville Zoo was part of the festivities, participating in a tug of war with city aldermen.  Canada’s 125th anniversary was in 1992, and the City organized a big party down at lakefront.  Every year, fireworks mark the end of the celebrations.

Canada Day at Henry House
Canada Day at Henry House

The City run Canada Day celebrations have been very successful over the years, drawing tens of thousands to Oshawa’s lakeshore.  They have also attracted a certain level of prestige, making Festivals and Events Ontario’s list of top 50 (later top 100) celebrations in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

Located in Lakeview Park, the Oshawa Community Museum takes part every year in Canada Day celebrations.  Over the years, the museum has had historical re-enactors, special displays, woodworking and blacksmithing demonstrations, and a Strawberry Social in the Henry House Gardens.  Currently, the Museum offers costumed tours of Henry House on Canada Day, and our Verna Conant Gallery is open in Guy House.

 

We will be open from 2-5 on July 1, 2013! Please visit!

 

References:

The Oshawa Vindicator, 1868-1870, various editions
Oshawa Daily Reformer, June 30, 1927
Oshawa Daily Times, July 4, 1927
Oshawa Community Archives (Subject 0012, Box 0001, Files 0003-0006, 0011, 0015)

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