Thought I’d share some of the tidbits I found recently as I searched for the Lady Prospector. These have nothing to do with Caroline Maben Flower, but they do add background detail to the story of her time in Northern Ontario.
During the spring of 1911, almost every page of the Cobalt Daily Nugget carried something related to the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. I skipped most of these. Not really interested [GASP!]
One article, however did catch my eye. Ryrie Brothers of Toronto made a birdseye maple casket as a gift for the royal couple. It was trimmed with silver from Cobalt and gold from the Porcupine.
Did I spend an inordinate amount of time searching for a picture of the box?
Did I toy with the idea of delving into everything “Royals” on the off chance someone, somewhere has a catalog of every gift ever gifted to Buckingham Palace?
Only briefly. Still not interested. [DOUBLE GASP]
I may be dedicated to the search, but I’m not THAT dedicated.
The Dirt on the Skirt
Early in 1911, the harem skirt created a stir in the European fashion world. A rather large stir, if we are to judge by the Pope’s condemnation of the designer. Reaction ranged from shock to rioting to murder. Even the Cobalt papers reported on the folly.
Ever the showman, theatre owner Charles Stevens decided to exploit the fascination. He notified the papers, and then, at the appointed time, he and the missus strode through the town, she wearing a pair of harem pants.
The sidewalks about the Square were lined with women and men anxious to see this garment that has caused so much discussion since its appearance a short time ago in Paris.
Later, Daisy modeled the outfit at hubby’s theatre. The buzz lasted three whole days, according another local historian, Charlie Angus. And then the next big deal took over.
By way of postscript, here’s a poem published July 12, 1911, by the ever-sardonic newspaper editor:
Mary had a harem skirt
Into it she did wiggle
But when she essayed hard to flirt
The boys would only giggle
A Word from Our Sponsor: Keatings Insect Powder [and another poem.]
By July 1911, the streetcar between Cobalt and Haileybury had been running for 18 months. Prior to the inaugural run, all of the news was about the construction of the road and the numerous delays.
After the fact, most of the news was related to rowdiness among the passengers – drunk and disorderly types who were fined or jailed for their transgressions. A friend of one of the arrested chaps decided to seek revenge by laying a log across the tracks. Thankfully, the trolley operator was able to stop the streetcar in time.
I cannot imagine that women or children would have felt comfortable travelling unescorted on the trolley line. The advertising team at Keating’s Insect Powder took advantage of the situation. Not only were people exposed to rude and potentially dangerous behaviour from other passengers, they had to worry about cooties!
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Update December 4, 2020. Thanks to Dan Antion for his tech support. I’ve managed to resize the Keating ad in the new block editor.
Categories: Mining Heritage