What Porcupine fashionistas wore in the spring of 1935


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How about some stories from the spring of 1935 – and as always, I ask the question but don’t really care about the answer.

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Three local musicians were able to strut their stuff at the Canadian National Mining and Metallurgy Conference in Winnipeg in March 1935.

Victor Dorego (accordionist and pianist), Ernest Lorenzo (tenor) and Michale Espelator (Spanish tenor), known as the Timmins Trio, appeared once or twice a day, dressed in mining gear, to sing a few songs at the events. social.

GG Ommanney, press officer for CIMM was delighted to see the artists come out; “Their music is so well received that funds have been raised and furlough from the mines, so these guys can appear”.

Lorenzo worked at Hollinger while Espelator was from Vipond, and Dorego was a well-known Moneta merchant. After performing a few pieces made popular by Caruso, the trio was offered a concert at the Sudbury Theatre.

Dorego and Eslanador agreed but Lorenzo decided it was time to return home as he was eager to share with family and friends his excitement at the reception the trio had received.

Let’s move on to fashion – and I’m not talking about what women were going to wear that spring, but what men – young and old – were considering.

According to an article in the Porcupine Advance, the trend among Canadian men was for “the suit, overcoat, hat, shirt and pair of socks to be wild and woolly.” Fabrics were to be worn loose, suits and coats looser at the shoulders, patterns bolder and showier, all reflecting a sartorial freedom not seen in years. Locally, tailors feared their customers would turn to the new fashion, but admitted that Harris tweeds and rough tweeds were in fashion. Additionally, gabardine rope coats were popular in the North for their waterproof qualities. The material was to be used for suits in 1935, and many local men placed their orders early with their tailors.

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“Brighter colors, wider and brighter checks characterized not only shirts, but also socks, pajamas and other garments.”

And if you were wondering how much a bespoke suit cost in town back then, the answer is $23.75 for a classic wool suit.

And I’m sure there were plenty of new costumes on display at the official opening of the new Schumacher High School. Publicly declared the finest secondary school in the province by Dr. GF Rogers, Chief Inspector of Secondary Schools for Ontario, the school represented a distinct shift in design; simple lines in light colors were the highlights. The building cost $124,000 and had all modern conveniences, including soundproof ceilings, automatic heat and humidity control, and vacuum steam heating with a self-igniting boiler. The clean lines at the front of the building were defined by two large cylindrical light fixtures that cast shadows on the front door, creating a very modernist appearance. The floors were made of cork, to better soundproof the main hall, the classrooms and the corridors. A large painting by a Canadian artist adorned the lobby; opposite was the entrance to the combined gymnasium and auditorium, a very new and modern adaptation of the space. The 400 seats are easily removable and the stage, flanked by two pillars that can be lit by multicolored ramps, sets the tone for assemblies and performances.

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The jet black curtain was offset by red and yellow design accents. The classrooms all featured artwork by Canadian artists and included the latest desks and chairs. The architect was DR Franklin of Toronto. He specialized in school design, but he also drew plans for a number of local buildings, including St. Mary’s Nurses Residence, CM Shields Residence in South Porcupine (Bruce Avenue and Moore Street), the Pearl Lake Hotel in Schumacher, the PM Bardessono Residence on First Avenue and Birch Street and the Tisdale Township Municipal Building in South Porcupine, to name a few.

Finally, the newspapers were filled with ads for “Edwardsburg Crown Brand Corn Syrup” – and then, you say – well, the ads all featured beautiful pictures of healthy babies with testimonials from grateful mothers (“I’m grateful to my doctor for recommending Crown Brand to me bla, bla, bla”). The ad copy, however, would horrify any mom today, as corn syrup was “prescribed in their first feeding formula It’s wonderfully rich in maltose and dextrose, the great energy-producing elements Not to be outdone, the Beehive Golden Corn Syrup Company featured a photo of the Dionne Quintuplets with this resounding endorsement: “In the first 48 critical hours, life was sustained in the Dionne quintuplets on a diet of milk, corn syrup and rum.

Admittedly, I have not currently consulted any doctor for an opinion on this subject, but my instinct tells me that it cannot be prescribed today.

Karen Bachmann is Director/Curator of the Timmins Museum and local history writer.

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