Edwardian Christmas Advertising
by Anita Mae Draper
Pssst - this isn't an official 12 Days of Inkies post but I wanted a Christmas header so I'm pretending - shhhhh...
Seems like I can't peruse a historical newspaper these days without coming across ads for Christmas goodies - with good cause since it's December and Christmas is coming in a couple short weeks.
My main interest in these newspapers is the Edwardian period due to the 1911 Courtship Letters I post on my Author Memories blog each week. Also -- blatant promotion coming up -- it's Christmas 1911 in my first published story, Riding on a Christmas Wish found in A Cup of Christmas Cheer pictured on the right.
Truth be told, I've been looking for an excuse to post these ads and this seems like the ideal time, basically for historical reasons to see what was available back then, or what certain items were called. The ads look blurry here, but if you click on them they should enlarge on a new screen.
|The Newmarket Era, Newmarket, Ontario. December 18, 1908|
The Newmarket Era, Newmarket, Ontario. December 9, 1910
This following ad was hard to read originally, but I'm including it here because it's the only one I found for sleds (called coasters) and ice skates.
|The Newmarket Era, Newmarket, Ontario. December 10, 1909|
|The Newmarket Era, Newmarket, Ontario. December 6, 1912|
|The Kingsville Reporter. December 14, 1911|
While the above ads were all from Ontario in the East, these next ones are from The Morning Leader out of Regina, Saskatchewan - where I go if I want a Tim Horton's or Starbucks coffee or anything close to fast food.
|The Morning Leader, Regina, Saskatchewan - Dec 9, 1910|
The Morning Leader, Regina, Saskatchewan - Dec 9, 1910
|The Morning Leader - Dec 20, 1911|
|The Morning Leader - Dec 14, 1911|
The Morning Leader - Dec 23, 1911
|The Morning Leader, Regina, Saskatchewan - Dec 23, 1911|
|Late 19th century advertising card. Courtesy of Toronto Public Library, Baldwin Room|
I've tried to show a variety of Christmas ads snipped from 1908-1912 newspapers from Ontario and Saskatchewan. I specifically stayed with the 2 provinces covered through my 1911 Courtship Letters and although the prices are in Canadian dollars, the difference between Cdn and US currency is usually within 15% of par either way at any time.
One thing I noticed was the lack of Christian images, carolers, etc but then, there wasn't many images at all to speak of - possibly because of the cost of lithographs? Whenever an actual photograph is included, the image is usually too dark to make out so perhaps that's why they didn't bother adding them. The Newmarket Era was a weekly, labor intensive production whereas The Morning Leader was a daily that needed to be out in a hurry.
Do you have any ideas why there aren't many images? Did anything catch your attention here - anything that made you wonder and think?
is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and the youngest of their 4 kids. She writes cowboy stories set in the Old West, and Edwardian stories set in the East. Anita Mae semi-finaled in the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest, and finaled in the Daphne du Maurier, Fool for Love, Duel on the Delta and the Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae's short story, "Riding on a Christmas Wish" is published in A Christmas Cup of Cheer, Guideposts Books, October 2013. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/