Trorey Clock

Postcard showing NE Corner Hastings at Granville. W. G. MacFarlane, publisher, ca1907. Author's file.

Postcard showing NE Corner Hastings at Granville. W. G. MacFarlane, publisher, ca1907. Author’s file.

This postcard, published probably in 1907, shows the NE corner of Hastings at Granville (where the Royal Bank of Canada building is today). Prominent in the image is the clock — what most Vancouverites alive today would identify as the Birks Clock. But the clock is not in front of or adjacent to the jewellery store of George Birks and Sons. Indeed, Birks didn’t even exist at the time the photograph was taken (possibly as much as a year before it was published). The shop behind the clock was that of Trorey Jewellers and the clock was theirs, too. Birks bought Trorey (in 1906), and along with the shop and it contents, they bought the clock. The clock become an icon of Birks and has accompanied the shop as it has moved to various locations in Vancouver’s downtown.

On a related note: I recently discovered that George Trorey, the former owner of Trorey Jewellers, was not out of work after Birks bought his establishment. I noticed in the ad below (from a 1909 issue of Westward Ho! — later British Columbia Magazine) that Trorey became the managing director of the firm after Birks bought Trorey’s.

Birks' advertisement from Westward Ho! magazine (1909). Screen capture from archives.org digital scan.

Birks’ advertisement from Westward Ho! magazine (1909). Screen capture from archives.org digital scan.

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