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SC Rewind: Old Ads

Published: June 22, 2019 10:50 am ET

Last Comment: June 26, 2019 11:24 am ET | 6 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In the latest edition of 'Rewind' Robert Smith turns the clock back a bit as he displays a medley of advertisements from racing journals of yesteryear.

This week I have copied a few old advertisements from days gone by found in some old magazines, all related to harness racing. I have always enjoyed looking at old ads such as these, and marvel at the prices that were then in effect, along with the art work that many featured. Today the practice of mail ordering (or perhaps more correctly Internet ordering) has again become popular. Years ago, probably because of the nature of the goods and products horse people required, they tended to often send away for a lot of things.

Catalogue shopping was once the staple of rural life, where people did not have ready access to the wide range of items they could be easily procured through mail order or catalogue shopping. You simply filled out an order form, mailed it, and within a few days the mail carrier had your parcel!

Many of the older folks in the audience probably recall when the Eaton's catalogue was about the most important book in any one's house. The first Eaton's catalogue came out in 1884 and you could buy virtually anything from it. In the first few decades of the 1900's you could actually buy a house right out of the catalogue! Many existed especially in Western Canada.

There was even an ongoing suspicion of where the out of date catalogues ended up? If you guessed the once-popular "Outhouse" you get the prize.

Shown below are a wide array of old advertisements, some with a short commentary if I was able to supply some additional information.

This U.S. ad showed a gentleman wearing racing silks presumably enjoying a bottle of good old Kentucky Bourbon whiskey. Canadian advertising laws for many years prohibited liquor ads such as this one. There is even a difference in the spelling between the two Countries. Generally speaking "whiskey" originates in the U.S. and Ireland while "whisky" comes from most other areas including Canada, Japan and Scotland.

The Barrie, Ont. fair was among the top fairs known for their harness racing for many years as advertised here.

Colourful ads such as this one often appeared in old racing journals. The fine print shows that the cost per can at this time was $5.00 U.S. so it must have been a pretty good product. (Hoof Beats)

This rather ornate ad invited those interested in winter training in South Carolina a prime location with three different sized tracks and all the amenities you could imagine.

Pinehurst, known as the "Golf Capital Of The World", was also a pretty nice place to train horses according to the above ad that appeared in the Northeast Harness News quite a number of years ago.

For many years The Ryerson Leather & Sport Goods Co., located in Stratford, Ont., supplied the needs of horse people all across Canada, mostly by mail order. They were regular advertisers in the Canadian Sportsman. Shown above are a couple of their old ads from the 1940's. Take note that the ads specified small orders would incur a 25 cent postage charge. One ad indicates that "war work" consumed a part of their production time and delayed meeting orders for the horse trade.

Dr. Bell's medicine was a staple among horse owners for countless decades. They not only advertised their products in harness papers, they were also sponsors of radio broadcasts and displayed their ads in the Canadian Sportsman which reached a huge audience.

The Ralston Purina Co. were suppliers of animal feed to all areas of the agricultural world and were among the first to develop a prepared horse food. They called it Omolene which was very popular among standardbred owners. This ad from the 1930's appeared in the ever-popular Hoof Beats magazine.

This one might not be quite as old as it appears but in any event it does seem to fit in with the old ad theme.

Back when every man wore a felt hat you could order one from the pages of The Horseman & Fair World magazine where this ad appeared. Notice the words "A Semi - Western hat for that look of importance." (Horseman & FW)

An old 1946 ad from the pages of the Horseman and Fair World magazine showing horse goods.

Who Is It?

Can you correctly name the driver shown above? The horse and groom are exempt from the quiz.

How about this gentleman; can you name him? Stay tuned to get the correct answers for both during the coming week.

June 26, 2019 - 11:24 amThis week's 'mystery

This week's 'mystery pictures' featured two rather different personalities; one very well known, the other maybe not so easily recognizable. Many were able to identify the famous U.S. horseman George Sholty the driver of countless great horses. In answer to Derek Wilson's question; yes that was Doug Perdew, probably best remembered for racing at Cloverdale and other Western Canada tracks. He was known by some as "Diesel Doug" for his work as track superintendent at Stampede Park where he applied diesel fuel as a conditioner on the racing surface. Week in and week out it's a tough job to try to stump the Rewind audience. Thanks!

June 23, 2019 - 10:59 amAny chance the bottom picture


Any chance the bottom picture is Doug Perdew

June 23, 2019 - 9:23 amGeorge Sholty and Henry

John Hill SAID...

George Sholty and Henry Jonnason

June 22, 2019 - 5:48 pmFirst one is George Sholty.

John Vance SAID...

First one is George Sholty.

June 22, 2019 - 2:39 pmLittle George Sholty, second

Gord Brown SAID...

Little George Sholty, second one looks awfully familiar but not sure.

June 22, 2019 - 2:16 pmThe driver in the top photo

The driver in the top photo is George Sholty.

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