W Marks the Spot

Van Sc P114 - [The Woodward's Department store beacon] ca 1938.

CVA Van Sc P114 – [The Woodward’s Department store beacon] ca 1938. (The “W” marks where the flagship outlet of Woodward’s Dept. Stores was located at northwest corner of Hastings at Abbott. Originally, as shown here, the W was mounted beneath a tower with a beacon. During WWII, however, this was considered to be a potential target and so the beacon was extinguished for the duration of the war. After the war was over, the W was mounted atop a replica of a substantially-shorter-than-actual Eiffel Tower. More recently, the original W was moved to ground-level as part of the Woodward’s Condominium redevelopment project. A shiny new W sits atop the redeveloped Woodward’s condos).

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.52.50 AM

According to a recent lecture titled “A Few Myths About Vancouver: The Real Stories”, by local historian, John Atkin, Woodward’s own brand of peanut butter was at one time produced beneath the beacon shown in the first image. This Woodward’s Peanut butter label (from the period 1973-1986) is at the Museum of Vancouver’s online site. (Thanks to J. Friesen for passing along the peanut butter information from Atkin’s lecture).

This was originally posted July 2015. Updated on April 28, 2017.

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