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christmas eve in the hamilton times, 1909

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 Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909. Click on image for larger version. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the 1909 version of a holiday-themed zombie movie, where Santa is under siege from children transformed into the living dead who think jolly old St. Nick would make a good Christmas dinner. The expression on Santa's face suggests his effort to fend them off may be doomed.  Do you think that in their efforts to diversify their Christmas movies, Hallmark would consider a heartwarming holiday zom-com? This odd drawing, combined with last post's odd Inuit stories , lead us into an odd mixture of holiday items presented by the Hamilton Times, a Liberal-leaning paper which published from 1859 to 1920. Canadiana has a sampling of issues, primarily from 1907 to 1909 .  Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909. When a man is in pain and misery, you don't leave him (literally) hanging from wires just so you can run and grab a disbeliever.  Half-an-hour passed before Tommy returned with

do the people of "santa claus land" celebrate christmas?

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Hamilton Times, December 24, 1909. In 1909, the Arctic was the exciting frontier of North America, thanks to Robert Peary's still-contested claim of having reached the geographic North Pole. The Inuit living in the region were treated as an exotic species, to the point that, in the 1890s, New York's Museum of Natural History asked Peary to bring back "specimens" for study .  By this point, the myth of Santa Claus residing in the North Pole was established, which led to an obvious question: how did people in the far north actually celebrate Christmas? The answer: not in any way which pleased close-minded people to the south. The questions "disturbing young citizens" might not be the same ones which would disturb them today. This piece feels like a Christian missionary's wet dream. Look at these poor creatures who don't know the happiness everyone else experiences on December 25! It's cold! All they do is sit around joylessly on blocks of ice as

vintage newspaper ad of the day: what's auto-intoxication?

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Buffalo Enquirer, December 24, 1920. A few questions: 1) Why is the "prominent physician" unnamed? 2) Are these "fruited" cereals, which contain figs, dates, raisins, and either whole wheat or oats, an early American adaptation of muesli?  3) Is this man suffering the shakes because he ate too much system-clogging meat, or is he suffering not from auto-intoxication ( a discredited 19th century theory on gut health ) but intoxication stemming from drinking some bad bathtub gin during the early days of prohibition in the United States? Despite the promise of better health from a cheap bowl of cereal, United Cereal Mills went out of business within a year of this ad's publication.  Link to more Fruited Wheat/Fruited Oats ads .

what kind of pedestrian are you?

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  Parade, December 24, 1950. Which of the eight types listed here are you? How often have you emerged from your stroll across the street with lumps or found yourself strapped to a hospital bed? How many times do you think the uncredited writer of this piece cursing at any of these pedestrians while behind the wheel of their post-Second World War American city? Launched in 1941, Parade is one of the last surviving nationally syndicated Sunday newspaper supplements in the United States. Why it still exists is a good question: the last time I saw a physical copy a few years ago, it was a sad little publication - unexciting celebrity and lifestyle content buried amid weak advertisers, combined into a 16-page package. Its website doesn't scream "read me!" thanks to a layout that is unfortunately evocative of those "around the web" clickbait sections.

"you're looking younger every day, mother"

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Toronto Star, October 19, 1918. Wyeth's Sage and Sulphur Compound may have worked too well in restoring Mother's vitality, given Junior's longing look. We can't blame the sage, since this product didn't contain any . *** Two years to the day after the last post on this site was published, the Warehouse is back in business. How long this revival lasts, I can't predict, or what form it will take beyond non-GTA centric material and old ads. I suspect most posts will be quickies I crank out while starting or ending my day, or while suffering from writer's block in the middle of a paid assignment. One thing you will notice if you go back through the archive is that some posts will vanish, as I'm moving Toronto-centric material, especially my Grid pieces, over to Tales of Toronto over the next few months. As with my Torontoist pieces, these posts will contain plenty of additional material where appropriate, or merged with other content.

bonus features: the 1960s backlash over the minimum wage

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This post offers supplementary material for an article I recently wrote for TVO , which you should read before diving into this post. Click on images for larger versions.    The ads produced by the province to explain the implementation of minimum wages in the Golden Horseshoe. These versions originally appeared in the June 11, 1963 edition of the Globe and Mail .      Toronto Star, September 6, 1963.  How the Progressive Conservatives presented the minimum wage during the 1963 provincial election campaign. Small ads like these were used to tackle the various points of the Tory platform, including topics like margarine colouring. Note the local candidates spotlighted in this ad, who range from Minister of Labour Leslie Rowntree to future disgraced hockey figure Alan Eagleson.       Toronto Star, September 17, 1963.  .    Toronto Star, September 21, 1963.  A Communist campaign ad mentioning minimum wage. There had been Communist MPPs (or Labo

bonus features: how one ontario newspaper tried to scare drivers sober

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This post offers supplementary material for an article I recently wrote for TVO , which you should read before diving into this post.  Here's a sampling of the ads that were discussed in the piece. Note the rise and fall of the ghoulishness factor, especially among the Christmas-centric ads. Click on the images for larger versions. Barrie Examiner, December 31, 1959. Barrie Examiner, December 24, 1960. Barrie Examiner, December 30, 1960. Barrie Examiner, December 23, 1961 . Barrie Examiner, December 30, 1961 . Barrie Examiner, December 31, 1962 . Barrie Examiner, December 30, 1963 . Barrie Examiner, December 24, 1964. Barrie Examiner, December 24, 1965. Barrie Examiner, December 31, 1966. The Weekly, December 20, 1967. I tried to find similarly ghoulish ads in other Ontario newspapers, and discovered this safety campaign from Toronto Township (present-day Mississauga) which ran during the mid-t