Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chubby Self Portraits, International Dirt at the CLE, a Wringer Washer and some local History all from Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario.... we go.  Yes, this is me circa 1946.  My dad had recently returned from England after the WWII years and we were on a typical Sunday outing in the car.  The car he had then was a Studebaker Erskine.  
After my father recently passed away, I started searching through our family photos again and came up with a couple of interesting ones of yours truly.  This photo was taken in front of the original McKenzie Inn on Lakeshore Drive.  I was a pretty chunky kid when I was little...but the cool thing is that I am standing beside a very rare double visible gas pump..."A Wade #2".  I wish there was a picture of the whole pump, but the fact that it has two hoses is a dead giveaway.  I guess I was more important than the pump was in those days.

The two pumps shown here are very similar to the pump shown in the photo of myself above.  I'm not sure what brand of fuel was sold at the McKenzie could have very well been B/A with the old bow tie logo shown at the left.  It definitely was not Gilmore as shown on the right, which was a very popular American Brand in the day.  I'm just adding these photos to show you what a double visible looked like.'s one more old 1946 photo of myself, taken at Boulevard Lake in about 1946 as well....the interesting find in this photo was the fact that I was drinking chocolate milk from a Thunder Bay Co-op Dairy milk bottle.

Here are the three sizes of Co-op milk bottles that are presently in my collection.  The Chocolate milk was sold at corner stores mainly in the smallest bottle, and the other sizes as well.  My dad's good friend Bub Kellough also sold cherry milk at his "Dairybest" dairy.
Some stories about the Thunder Bay Co-op Dairy are shown in a couple of posts on my blog pages here - Click on this link then return for more - THUNDER BAY CO-OP DAIRY  

I loved going to the dirt track races at the CLE...and obviously you know that, but when the Championships came, the excitement was overwhelming to a young gear head like myself.  The International Dirt Track Stock Car Races at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Grounds were the best anywhere.  Here is a cover page from a Sept 25, 1957 program....I was 13 when this program came out, and the next print here was on the first inside page of the program stating only 25 cents to go to the races, which was very affordable for a kid in those days.

The following two rare colour photos are favourites of mine...not too crisp but you get the idea.  At the beginning of the race day in 1957, the cars and drivers would angle park at the rub-rail and in front of the Grandstand, so that you could get a glance of your favourite drivers and cars.  
The red and white '34 Ford in the middle of the first photo and lined up for the first race in the second photo was none other than my favourite of the day, Barry Kettering.....there are many photos and stories in my blog pages about Barry and more of many of the other drivers, so if you haven't out all the pictures and stories.

Here is the Roster for the above race can see all the drivers names who participated as well as the fact that they came from near and far to race for the big money.  Literally thousands of spectators would cram the old grandstand to watch the thrills and spills.

NEXT - My mother's old BEATTY
This is an actual photo of my mother's Christmas present in about 1947, just before we moved into our first NEW house.  It looks and sounds a bit sexist, but my mother loved her new washing machine.  The one she had before this was a gas motor powered one that you had to kick start.......and hopefully it would start.  When it was running, it would vibrate itself from one side of the back porch to the other....she hated the old one, so this was pretty much a miracle for her.

The photo of my mom's Beatty is a little fuzzy....but I can't improve it...  The Beatty ad is a real 1940's magazine ad and the colour photo of the lady with the "Connor" brand washer is from our friends at The big thing was to keep your fingers out of the wringers....

NEXT - A Rare Local Photo
This next local historical photo was a puzzle to me for a few years,  It is of a visit from Lord Willingdon, Governor General of Canada's visit in the 1930s.  I started searching building tops in and around the Port Arthur downtown area and where dignitaries came and went from our Lakehead cities.  I have come to the conclusion that comparing the two following photos, the picture was taken on Syndicate Avenue in front of the CPR station facing Cronos cafe.....Check it out for yourself!!  It is a wonderful and fairly crisp old photo with some great billboards shown on the store in the background and to its right.

The last picture for this post below is also quite interesting as not many people have noticed what advertising was painted on the south side of the James Murphy Coal Company building to the right of their signage.  On close scrutiny you can recognize a big arrow...and definitely see that it is a Wrigley's Spearmint advertisement.  
We hope you enjoyed this post and as usual be sure to click on all the pictures for enlargements.  
A huge thank you to all the people through the years that took some of the wonderful photos that you see on these blog pages as well as those who have graciously donated historic photos to this site.
Thanks, Dave

Thursday, February 19, 2015

OLD LOCAL ADVERTISING in our home towns of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario.....

Throughout the years there has been literally tons of local advertising to make one visit our home towns or to sell products here.  The following items are a small portion of my personal collection of local advertising.  Most are pretty self explanatory, so be sure to click once or twice on each to view them screen size.  ENJOY!

These of course are automotive window decals...everyone would put them on their campers or travel trailers to show where they have travelled.  Local ones are very difficult to find especially here.  These were found in an antique shop many years ago in Minneapolis.

Former Alderman Hubert Limbrick dubbed our area "The Land of the Sleeping Giant"
Bill Spicer also a former Alderman of Fort William, with 

his brothers, ran Spicer's Tire Service for many years.  I worked for them in
the 1960's

The use of the Esso tiger started after WWII.  
"There's a Tiger in your tank".

Remember when you got your oil changed

they would put a sticker like this on your
car's door jamb.
This is a cool little Auto Expense booklet to keep
track of  oil changes and servicing of your vehicle.

 In the Lakehead area, windshield scrapers were probably given out more than any promotional item through the years, and here are some great examples from T&S Service, Don Long's White Rose in Westfort and D. J. McCall, BA fuels agent.

This is always a favourite that I have used on a post before.  This is an ink blotter advertising card from the 1950s.

The graphic art on this Ossie's White Rose map is fantastic, as well as the Kettering Brothers (Barry and Glen) Husky advertising card above.  These business were very close to each other on Syndicate Ave.  The White Rose was on the South/West corner of Arthur St. and Syndicate Ave.  Kettering's Husky was just across the road from the CPR Station on the corner of Isabella St. and Syndicate Ave.

Here's a group of glass advertising ashtrays from Henderson's Taxi in Fort William, Ed's Triangle Service at the corner of Memorial, John and Fort William Road in the day(it is a Confederation year ashtray), and George's B?A Station which was on the corner or Waterloo St, and Victoria Ave in Fort William.

This was a very popular button in 1975.  Car
Enthusiasts were forever trying to get a Drag
Strip going in our towns from the 1950s to the
present with never any luck.  Terrace Bay finally
succeeded a few years ago.
If you click on this one you can see the tiny print saying
Fort William and Port Arthur shown at the head of the lakes.

Here are 3 advertising pens and a small tune-up screw driver from some local businesses....the first one is from Brescia's Gulf Service and the second is Brescia's when it became a B/A Station.  The tune-up screw driver is from the well known Dominion Motors....still serving our city today.  The last is from Spicer's Tire Service, where I worked in the 1960's.

Here is a little Dunlop Tire Sales and Service ladies rain hat from the 1960s, as well as a newer small key fob from Spadoni's Dealership in Schreiber.

Here are a couple of advertising thermometers , one from Gino Antoniazzi's B/A agency from about 1961 and the other from Woods Gulf is a little newer.  Woods was located between Spud's Burger Major and Green Acres Plaza near the North/West corner of Arthur (Thanks Roger for the correction ).

Key Fobs were another smart advertising piece, which usually stayed on your key ring even until you sold your old car to buy a new one.  They made them of leather to survive the tests of time.
The last two pieces are not automotive related but interesting anyway.  This Fryer Studio one, would hold a few pennies for your parking meter.  Sadly they won't hold loonies that you need to park today.  The final piece is a Street Car Conductor's badge from the days of Rail Trolly (electric railway) here in Port Arthur and Fort William.  This is a recent new find for me and is one of my favourite pieces.
We hope you enjoyed this post, a little different from the others.  Thanks for watching and looking.  Dave

Monday, January 26, 2015

"THE CLOCK", "THE ARMOURY" and many more then and now photos in FORT WILLIAM & PORT ARTHUR, Ontario.....

It's been quite some time since we did a "then" and "now" post.  Sometimes,  however we cannot add the "now" because the now is inside Victoriaville Centre, as the first part of this post starts.......
Click on "THE CLOCK" collage twice to get it full screen then read the history there.  You can click on all the other photos once or twice to enlarge them as well.

I am reposting this photo from above for another reason... The first vehicle on the right parked in front of Chapples is a 1929 Pontiac Six sedan...the big giveaway is the split grille, the molded visor, and chief Pontiac on the on the radiator cap on the grille shell.  This is a wonderful local photo taken in front of the Chapple building also known as the Grain Exchange Building in its day.
Chief Pontiac
Read all about it.

Side view.

Pontiac Six only $895.00

The next Then and Now was known as "The City Substation and Telephone Exchange" (photo taken by the Fryer Studio, Fort William).  It is quite a unique little building and has been used for many things through the years such as an art studio and a dance studio.  It still exists but looks vacant at present.  The address is 910 E. Donald Street.

Current photo.

I never knew why our city would tear down this absolutely beautiful building which was once  city hall. The city should have left this building and built a new structure in the Intercity area after the amalgamation of Fort William and Port Arthur into our present City of Thunder Bay.  I am not sure of the exact year of the photo.  The Hydro Electric building property in this photo was actually a service station at one time.

Current Photo.

"THE ARMOURY" in this next collage, like the one at the beginning of this post tells a story in itself, so, again, double click on it twice to enlarge full screen then scroll around to read all the data.

Here are some enlargements of the tiny graphics that are in the collage on them too.
HMCS Fort William - RCN.
Navy League Cadets logo.

Royal Canadian Navy sticker.

Here is the Hydro Substation on Walsh Street taken in the mid 1950's.  The present day photo is pretty much the same except the Hydro grid that was beside the old photo is no longer there, and I am not sure what the nice strong brick building is even used for today.  The building is on the corner of Walsh and Sprague St.

Current photo.

This next photograph is of Port Arthur Motors (Used Cars).  It was their used car lot on Court Street in Port Arthur which was later used for many years as the Port Arthur Motors Body Shop, and just to the right of it was their outdoor used car lot.  Kam Motors in Fort William where my father worked and Port Arthur Motors were both owned by Hubert Badanai Sr. in the 1950's when this photo was taken.  The Badanai name still stands as the only Chevrolet dealership in Thunder Bay today. 

Current photo.

Sargent and Son Funeral Home and the Port Arthur Fire Hall on Court Street in Port circa 1950's.  Here is a then and now of that particular spot.  Sargent and Son's now own all the property heading all the way north to Van Norman St.

Current photo.

OK...back to Fort William.  Check out this beautiful touring car parked on Simpson Street, just north and around the corner from Victoria Ave.  As you can see, this was a very busy part of Fort William in the 1910's during the transition from horse and buggy to horseless carriage.  What an interesting time it must have been to live during those days.  The current photo below shows no buildings left in that area.  Many were destroyed by fire in the later years.  When viewing the old photos like these, note that most of the gentlemen always wore suits and hats, and the ladies were always in their Sunday best.  In the vintage photo, the next side street at the right of the photo is Miles St.  
Reminder - click on photos twice.

current photo

The Daily Times Journal - The first photo is my own canvas bag that I used to deliver the TJ back in the 1950's. 

The next two photos are then and now Times Journal building photos at 115-119 N. May Street in Fort William.  I'm not sure weather the gentlemen are waiting to get a job or just waiting for the new edition of the Times Journal to be released.  The Palace Cafe next door was many different businesses throughout the years.  
For more about this building on Hot Rods and Jalopies, here is a link, then come back CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE TIMES JOURNAL

A huge thank you for all the support we receive from local and international members and watchers of Hot Rods and Jalopies.
Also a big thank you as well to "The Walleye" (a fabulous and informative local arts and culture magazine), and Kyle Poluyko for the wonderful article written about us in the January 2015 issue.