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Remembering the First World War – Archives Blog

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At Home and Away: Remembering the First World War through records at the Archives of Manitoba

Visit this blog for regular posts about records at the Archives of Manitoba that date from the time of the First World War. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

March 2015 Posts:

16 March 2015

The Manitoba Legislative Building: Photographing a Work in Progress

Construction of the Manitoba Legislative Building began in 1913 and continued throughout the time of the First World War. The building was ready for partial occupancy in 1919 and was officially opened on 15 July 1920.

In 1915, L. B. Foote was commissioned by the Government of Manitoba to document the construction of the Legislative Building through photographs.  These two photographs were taken on 18 March 2015 and show the progress of construction to that point.

photo of Construction of Legislative Building during construction

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Archives of Manitoba, L. B. Foote fonds, Foote 528. Construction of Legislative Building, P7394

photo of Construction of Legislative Building during construction, different angle

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Archives of Manitoba, L. B. Foote fonds, Foote 529. Construction of Legislative Building, P7394

Search Tip: Search “L.B. Foote” in Keystone to learn more about his photographs. Visit the Archives to see a slideshow in our foyer to see these and 32 more photographs from 1915-1916 documenting the Legislative Building construction.

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9 March 2015

Alarm Clocks, Underwear and Everything in Between

Gaults Limited catalogues from the First World War era document the fashions of the day including such essentials as sleeve protectors, handkerchiefs, parasols, children’s pinafores, spats, and celluloid cuffs and collars. The catalogues also provide examples of the types of floor coverings, draperies and furnishings that were available to homeowners of the time.

photo of page in catalogue with an illustration of five women in different dresses

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Archives of Manitoba, Gaults Limited fonds, Gaults Limited Ladies Ready-to-Wear catalogue, 1915, P3697/4.

photo of pages in catalogue with floor tile pattern swatches

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Archives of Manitoba, Gaults Limited fonds, Gaults Limited catalogue, 1914, P3697/3.

Gaults Limited was a dry goods wholesale company founded in Montreal in 1856 which operated until the 1970s.Its Winnipeg warehouse was built in 1899 on Arthur Street, and still exists as the Artspace Building. The Gaults Limited fonds includes catalogues dating from 1911 to 1970 which illustrate the wide range of goods the company offered to stores in towns throughout Manitoba and western Canada including men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, fabric, notions, toiletries, toys and home furnishings.

Search Tip: Search “Gaults Limited” in Keystone for more information on these records.

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2 March 2015

Smellie of the Nascopie

In October 1917, Captain Thomas Farrar Smellie became master of the Nascopie, taking over its wartime voyages from Captain Edmund Mack. At the time, Smellie had been in command of another HBC ship, the Bayverdun, which was also part of HBC’s fleet of supply vessels chartered by allied governments. He was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, recovering from rheumatic fever. On the day that he received word from London that he was to assume command of the Nascopie, he also broke his arm. Weak from illness and with his arm in a sling, he travelled to Montreal to command the Nascopie on a voyage into the White Sea to Archangel, Russia. He arrived in Archangel in the spring of 1918 in the midst of Russian civil war. After this voyage, Captain Smellie had a long and celebrated career on board the Nascopie exploring the Arctic, for which he is best known. However, his contribution as one of two masters to sail the HBC’s most famous ship into war torn Russia cannot be forgotten.

photo of Captain Thomas Farrar Smellie

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Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba,
Lorene Squire photographs taken for “The Beaver” magazine,
“Captain Smellie” [aboard the Nascopie], HBCA 1981/28/50.

Search Tip: To learn more about Captain Smellie, consult the brief biographical sketch PDF on our website and use keyword “Smellie” to search for photographs of him in Keystone.

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