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