Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Selling watches in a Canadian winter in 1900

I am back in Canada with the Orillia Museum of Art & History featuring one of their pictures from Canada’s past.  

In this case an advert for J.B.Thompson watchmaker and jeweller, Orilla, Ontario.

I am always intrigued at the thinking behind such advertisements and can’t quite decide whether the message was that his watches worked in the cold of a Canadian winter, or that in the event of a snow storm you would always be able to know the time even if the train was buried under that white stuff.

But as ever the museum has provided a useful background to the picture.

"J.B. Thompson Trade Card 1890

J.B. Thompson :Watchmaker and Jeweller: published this advertising trade card illustrating a 
“Canadian Snow Plow,” around 1900. 

The Thompson Jewelry store was located at 57 Mississaga Street East from about 1884 to the early 1900’s and was later called Madden’s Jewelery. In his book 'Reminiscences' C.H. Hale tells us John Boyd Thompson was a leading Jeweler of his day and had a large business which included manufacturing on a small scale and which extended far into the lumber camps to the north. 

Mr. Thompson held the post of Mayor of Orillia in 1888 and his eldest son Arthur Boyd Thompson was a leading Orillia lawyer and authority on Municipal law.I am always intrigued at the thinking behind such advertisements."

Picture; courtesy of Orillia Museum of Art & History

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