Category Archives: advertising

Orange Meat?!

I came upon this advertisement when looking for something else in a 1904 edition of the Vancouver Daily World. The very peculiar product name compelled me to drop what I was looking for and read the rest of the ad. The ad … Continue reading

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Where W.E.C. Shopped?

Updated October, 2016 This image appears to have been made sometime in the 1970s; right around the same period when the hapless Wile E. Coyote was entertaining fantasies of terrorizing the nameless Roadrunner using machines built from products made by Acme. The company portrayed in the image, … Continue reading

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“What Food These Morsels Be”

This sign was painted on the side of a building on Prior Street many years ago. A friend, who is in his 70s, claims not to remember a time when the advertisement wasn’t there. W. T. Money established W. T. … Continue reading

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“Traffic Peaker” vs “Polar Cap Melter”?

This 1940s ad, which I’m assuming was a production of the City of Vancouver, makes use of all three of the classical rhetorical appeals. There is ethos in the use of statistics, figures, and a chart to persuade the audience … Continue reading

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Winter on Davie at Homer

A zoomed image on the same (December) day in 1968 appears below.

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Hammond Furniture

The buildings that today house at least three businesses on the NW and NE corners of Clark at Venables were ones that I’ve wondered about each time I’ve gone past. This morning, as I was browsing through online photos of the City … Continue reading

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Nominee for Silliest Pioneer Surname…

While I was riding a city bus across Greater Vancouver this afternoon, I was looking for inspiration for this post from a PDF copy of the ca1908 Elite Directory of Vancouver. Among the items I spotted is my nominee for one of the … Continue reading

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Shack to ‘Monument’

The shack-like home of Hopps Sign (and everything else on this block – residential and commercial) is where, today, the International-style, monumental structure dedicated for many years to the sorting of mail is located. We are looking north on Homer Street up … Continue reading

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The Gifted Mr. Bradbury

A real pleasure for me in this photo-historical adventure I’ve called VanAsItWas is in discovering and re-discovering crisp, well-exposed images that speak of an attention to detail and a real concern (whether consciously or not) for issues that would ultimately be … Continue reading

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A 1977 View from Harbour Centre

This is a very different view from the comparable one you would see today from atop Vancouver’s Harbour Centre. This image appears to have been made a few months after the building opened in June, 1977. The sprawling downtown Woodward’s department store complex has, of … Continue reading

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Where Was the ‘Overlook’ Subdivision?

This is a crop of a larger image to clearly show the rooftop sign advertising the subdivision being promoted as “Overlook” by Trites Real Estate. Where, I asked myself, was this ca1913 subdivision located? Trites Real Estate was owned and operated … Continue reading

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Wilson’s

This retail corner (SE Cordova and Granville) was anchored by a newspaper vendor called The Checking Depot in the 1910s (I suspect that this image was made in 1914 – the only year I could identify in BC Directories in which … Continue reading

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You Look So Lovely in Your Rat Jacket!

Imagine having a coat made from the fur of many rats. Okay, a Chinchilla overcoat? As my wife’s Ukrainian Baba used to say, “Sam Ting” (translation: It’s the same thing)! In case you weren’t aware (I wasn’t), over the past 15 … Continue reading

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Peculiar Product Pairing

This product pairing, to my 21st-century eyes at any rate, seems very odd. It isn’t clear from the archival record just what kind of shop this window was in (hardware, grocery, department store?), but I’m hard-pressed to think of why Bendix … Continue reading

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Ashnola Area

This is a photograph which I believe has been misidentified by CVA. The City of Vancouver Archives identifies this scene as being on Cambie Street near 12th Avenue. But in fact, I believe it is the 2200 block of Main … Continue reading

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The Arcade

Both of these images are looking roughly in the same direction (although the 2014 photo was taken a block further north from Hastings than was the ca1900 one). At the time the ca1900 image was made, the Dominion Trust Building … Continue reading

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Mrs. Who?

No, the lady isn’t of Polish extraction. Her ‘surname’ is a none-too-subtle (and clumsy) acronym for “Why Don’t You Take Your Change in War Savings Stamps?”

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First Against Thirst

The image above was not taken too many years ago (relative to many images that appear here), and it is difficult to determine if the original wood frame structure has been demolished or given a new ‘skin’. It served as the home … Continue reading

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Seymour Billiards

The first image was taken on Nelson Street from near the back lane between Granville and Seymour streets. The second image was made on Seymour from Nelson Street looking north toward Smithe. The Vancouver (Ford) Motors building (which today houses Staples on … Continue reading

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Robsonstrasse

This is the 1000 block of Robson Street (just west of Burrard). A block now full of the mainly American big box shops (e.g., Tommy Hilfiger’s, Levi’s). But this block in the 1970s was known as Robsonstrasse. There are no U.S. big … Continue reading

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Moon Glow Cabaret

This scene was on the north side of the former 300 block of East Georgia Street in Chinatown. There isn’t anything left of this bock, today. It was levelled in 1960 for the creation of the MacLean Park public housing … Continue reading

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Ho Sun Hing Printers and Neighbours

The image above is of the 200 block of East Georgia Street (in Chinatown), made in the 1960s. If you compare this image with the one immediately below, there are really very few substantive changes to the buildings on the block, so … Continue reading

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Watson Gloves

The image above was taken in an unknown year at the original manufacturing site of Watson Gloves — on East 2nd Avenue, just west of Main Street. I was walking in that neighbourhood this afternoon and spotted the entry to … Continue reading

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The World

There seem not to be any photos on the VPL or CVA websites that show “The World” after-hours club. Although the club appears  to have endured for a number of years, I haven’t been able to track down the year it was … Continue reading

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Rae-Son Shoe Rack?

The image above, made in 1974, is of 615-619 Seymour Street. At the time, the tenants of the building were the Rae-Son Shoe Rack and the Salon George beauty salon. During the years that this art deco structure has been at this site … Continue reading

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MacEwan Arts

This is the west-facing side of the Hartney Block. In 1974, McLeod’s Books was the principal retailer on the main floor. Holding down the back end of the building were MacEwan Art Supplies and Cassels Window Shade. Today, a funky … Continue reading

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E. A. Morris

The E. A. Morris block has been restored to appear much as it looked in 1938 (to get some idea of how much restoration work was required, have a look at version of this building in 1974 that housed The … Continue reading

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The Workingman’s Store

This is an image from the City of Vancouver Archives which I hadn’t noticed before. It is most interesting. First, it is worth getting oriented. We are looking north on Main Street and Stuart Thomson, the photographer, is standing with … Continue reading

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When You’re Smilin’

The Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret was a fixture at 109 East Hastings from the 1950s to the 1980s. Today, the place has been given new life as the SBC Restaurant – a combined indoor skateboarding park/restaurant.

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‘New’ Cecil Hotel (ca1909-2010)

 

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Burrard Skytrain Station

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Terminal City Oyster, Fish and Deli

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Agnew Surpass Shoes

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Roast Chicken: 40 Cents (or “Newsboys Keep Out!”)

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Whales Trumped Product Ads

The Whaling Wall on the former Continental Hotel is bowing to the wrecking ball this week. However, according to this link, there are plans to install a new whale mural somewhere in East  Vancouver. The Orca mural, in my opinion, … Continue reading

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Hot Dog or Hamburger: 10 Cents

One could be forgiven for not recognizing this as one of the most popular and well-known spots in Vancouver’s Chinatown. The slimmest building in the city and home to Jack Chow Insurance today, it was in the 1930s, apparently, where … Continue reading

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Direct from the Sea to the Pan

This fish and chip shop is just a couple of doors up East Hastings from where the legendary ‘The Only’ Seafood would later thrive (The Only was at 20 East Hastings). I don’t know whether the Old Country Fish & Chips was … Continue reading

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Chocolate Shop Cafe

The building in which the Chocolate Shop Cafe once was housed has plainly been replaced since the 1920s. The toughies glaring out the window of the second story of the building might have given Stuart Thomson pause! Note: The sign atop … Continue reading

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Empire Hotel and Cafe

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Model Boot Shop

These two images have a number of common features. Most of the buildings in this block have been retained over the years, including the Hotel Strathcona. And the space where the “Model Boot Shop” was located in 1936 today is occupied today by … Continue reading

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Famous Cloak and Suit Co.

The first business occupying this site (adjacent to the Royal Bank building on the north side of Hastings near Granville) was the Leland Hotel Annex. The Leland Hotel’s main building (with its four big Greco-Roman columns at the front) was across … Continue reading

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Downtown Granville Street

Among the intriguing elements to be seen when you click on the image above (for a closer view), is Harrron Bros., Undertakers (mid-image on the right). Note: I checked the name of the firm against BC Directories for the early years of … Continue reading

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Hornby at Robson

Why is it that I cannot look at an image of a post-rainy day in Vancouver without seeing a scene with a noir-ish aspect — where all the men in their raincoats have slightly seedy motives and where even the … Continue reading

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Underground Power

The “yesterday” image above shows the submersion of electric cables beneath Smithe Street in downtown Vancouver in 1914. According to the CVA record, the cable carried up to 11,000 volts, at that time. Less than a block away from the … Continue reading

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White Lunch No. 4

The image above is one of my all-time favourites of Stuart Thomson images (of many made by this consummate pro with a decidedly uncommon eye). I love how he has well captured human feelings and attitudes in this little interior … Continue reading

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Hollywood Cafe

Before this space housed the Hollywood Cafe, it was the Blue Goose Cafe; later (by 1949) the Good Eats Cafe. Still later (1950) – and (if you are inclined to put faith in dates offered by CVA) earlier (1930) – this … Continue reading

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Strand Theatre

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Esquire Cafe

For a 1969 image of the same space, see this earlier posting.

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600 Block Granville

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Angelus Confectionery on Howe

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Three Views of the Casa Loma Cafe

  CVA 1184-3262. Cafe Casa Loma, 1940-48. Jack Lindsay photo. Note: This image has been cropped and otherwise edited. To see original image, go to CVA,)

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Oakridge As It Was

This appears to be a sign advertising Oakridge Centre Mall at this location (southwest corner of Cambie and 41st). It was taken in 1970. Woodward’s department store was the initial anchor of the mall when it opened in 1959.

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‘Crazy’ For a Reason

‘Crazy Crystals’, apparently, were simply the crystals left behind when mineral water was distilled. But judging from the advertising claims made by the company, the crystals had health-enhancing qualities beyond the skin softening and laxative properties that had long been attributed to mineral … Continue reading

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Noxall Moucide Adds Spice to Death

  This is part of an image of Heather’s Handy Store, a Dunbar-based convenience shop. I enjoy scanning the products on shelves of old photographs like this one, seeing what items our grandparents and their neighbours were tempted to purchase. There … Continue reading

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An Insincere Star? Never!

The image above seems to have been taken as part of a fund-raising effort by the Kinsmen and Kinettes clubs of Canada to raise cash for the purchase of powdered milk in wartime Britain. The female model is unknown to me. The male … Continue reading

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Before Rogers Building

This image was made just prior to (and very likely in anticipation of) the construction on the corner of Granville and Dunsmuir of the Rogers Building. C. D. Rand, whose office is visibly prominent in the single-storey structure at the … Continue reading

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Billboardicus Giganticus

The enormity of the billboard showing a bespectacled gent shilling for Nabob is mildly shocking. Even more so that it appears to have been adjacent to a single family dwelling – although one that almost certainly was on a principal automobile route. But … Continue reading

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Early Occupants of the Main Flatiron Property

The image above has a semi-rural charm to it that is a feature of many Canadian photographs made during the Victorian period. The lad in the foreground was almost certainly standing where he was at the request of the now-unknown photographer … Continue reading

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Across From Pigeon Park

The corner across from Pigeon Park (or, more formally, Pioneer Square) is shown below in two images: the first was made sometime in the first decade of the 20th century; the second in 1926. This is the northeast corner of … Continue reading

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Wild About Arches

From the incorporation of Vancouver through the early decades of the 20th century, residents of Vancouver were nuts about erecting arches. Most arches were constructed to celebrate special occasions and visits of dignitaries. There are photographic examples in the City of Vancouver Archives … Continue reading

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Familiar. . . Yet Different

Although the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) – the source of this image –  apparently isn’t satisfied that all necessary details of the image are pinned down (its title as of the publication of this post is “Description in Progress”), it appears … Continue reading

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Radio Cult Sweeps Vancouver! (Ladies Need Not Apply)

This all-male crew paused mid-worship for this photograph taken of the faceless, fearsome radio god posed front and centre (and dwarfing its mere human supplicants)! A publicity stunt, presumably.

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Game Ranch on Granville

This shop is still on the SE corner of Granville Street (near Smithe), although it is today a shadow of its 1960s self, as shown in this image. Today, a dominant feature of the front face of the shop is the … Continue reading

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The 29-cent Burger!

My, how this corner has changed! A bargain burger joint and a bank have today given way to a variety bargain shop (Winners) and an electronics vendor (Future Shop). The slightly ramshackle-looking building down Robson from the Royal Bank is the Orillia … Continue reading

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