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    Advice for immigrants: work hard or stay home

    May 30th, 2013

    Be prepared to work hard or stay home, was the advice offered to prospective immigrants to Manitoba on April 15, 1879 by the Daily Times, Winnipeg. Read the rest of this entry »


    Toronto’s great unwashed

    May 28th, 2013

    A ban on public bathing within the city of Toronto is attacked by The Nation magazine, June 25, 1874. Read the rest of this entry »


    Daring female preacher “extinguished”

    May 23rd, 2013

    A daring female preacher in Nova Scotia was “completely extinguished,” the Halifax Novascotian approvingly reported in this item, dated  April 3, 1828. Read the rest of this entry »


    Barnum blows a Trans-Atlantic balloon

    May 21st, 2013

    Phineas T. Barnum will build “the most magnificent balloon that ever soared aloft,” and sail it across the Atlantic from the United States to England, reports the St. John’s Daily News, October 9, 1873. Read the rest of this entry »


    Tax bachelors, pay spinsters, urges Female Congress

    May 16th, 2013

    The spinsters of Sydney County, Nova Scotia, want the legislature to impose a tax on bachelors and on men who go out of the county to find a wife, in this letter, published in the Halifax Novascotian, July 6, 1826: Read the rest of this entry »


    Menacing bloomers, women’s rights, and misogyny

    May 14th, 2013

    Women’s rights— including the right vote and to wear pants—had staunch advocates and bitter critics when the Toronto Leader belched the following fiery editorial, September 12, 1853. The pants were named after Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894), a U.S. reformer who campaigned for temperance and women’s rights. Read the rest of this entry »


    When flush toilets et al powered greater change than the Internet and the digital revolution

    May 8th, 2013

    An inscription on a rural tombstone of a man who lived from 1869 to 1952 reminds us that this was an era that wrought greater change—the practical use of electricity, automobiles, refrigeration, aircraft, radio, movies, television, and flush toilets—than the Internet and the digital revolution. Read the rest of this entry »


    XENOPHOBIA 05: Former slave girl must abandon husband and baby

    May 7th, 2013

    On November 12, 1930, Canada’s supreme court ordered Gee Shu Moy, a 19-year-old former Vancouver slave girl, deported to central China. She must abandon not only her Canadian-born husband, Lim Fat Chung, but also either abandon her six-month-old son, a Canadian citizen, or raise him “in the poverty stricken confines” of her native village, the Toronto Globe reported. Read the rest of this entry »


    XENOPHOBIA 04: Keep Chinese off the farms

    May 2nd, 2013

    A suggestion that more workers be brought from China to help meet a shortage of farm labourers during the First World War met strong opposition from a farm newspaper, the Toronto Weekly Sun, December 19, 1917. Read the rest of this entry »