Kamloops · Vancouver

Bailey Bros.: Photographers and Booksellers, Part 2

Picking up where I left off in part 1 of the Bailey Bros. story, Charles Bailey’s death in 1896 must have struck a major blow to the photography and stationery firm he left behind, and to his business partner and brother, William. Charles had been the man behind the lens for so many Bailey Bros.… Continue reading Bailey Bros.: Photographers and Booksellers, Part 2

Kamloops · Vancouver

Bailey Bros.: Photographers and Booksellers, Part 1

Many Vancouver history buffs know Bailey Bros. as the scenic photographers who captured enduring images of a young city and of British Columbia in the late 1880s and early 1890s (1). But fewer people know that the Baileys were also among Vancouver’s earliest booksellers and stationers. Charles Bailey, the younger of the two brothers, was… Continue reading Bailey Bros.: Photographers and Booksellers, Part 1

Stationery and novelties

Happy Valentine’s Day from 1909

In 1909, Vancouver bookseller Norman Caple advertised the many items he had in stock for “lovers as of yore,” friends, and parents who wanted to pick up some “tokens of love and gifts of affection” for Valentines Day. Available were not only valentine cards, but also gift books, valentine tally cards, decorations, table napkins, domino… Continue reading Happy Valentine’s Day from 1909

Vancouver

The End of Gaskell Book & Stationery and Thomson Stationery

I wrote last time about the rise of Manfred Gaskell’s bookselling mini-empire: as of mid-1914, he owned two Gaskell Book & Stationery stores in Vancouver and a branch in New Westminster, plus Thomson Stationery’s main operation in Vancouver and a branch in Victoria. At the height of his business boom, Gaskell’s business equity amounted to… Continue reading The End of Gaskell Book & Stationery and Thomson Stationery

Vancouver

Manfred Gaskell: Boom and Bust

In 1909, when Manfred Gaskell, Edward Odlum, and Albert Stabler bought Thomson Stationery Company, the firm was said to have the largest book stock in all of Canada (1). By 1914, Gaskell had bought out both of his partners. He also had three stores operating as the Gaskell Stationery Company: two in Vancouver, at 679-681… Continue reading Manfred Gaskell: Boom and Bust

Vancouver

Thomson Bros.: Booksellers and Ambitious Entrepreneurs

When Margaret MacLean, wife of first Vancouver mayor Malcolm MacLean, travelled on the CPR to join her husband on the west coast in the fall of 1886, with her on the train to Port Moody was Melville Patrick Thomson (1). Thomson was coming from Calgary, where he and his brother, James Arthur, ran a successful… Continue reading Thomson Bros.: Booksellers and Ambitious Entrepreneurs

Victoria

Gate Night Mischief at Hibben’s

When I grew up in Winnipeg, the night before Hallowe’en was customarily known as “gate night,” when bands of teenagers too old for trick-or-treating went around egging houses, streaming rolls of toilet paper through trees, putting all sorts of disgusting things in mail boxes, and in general behaving in ways that were sure to charm… Continue reading Gate Night Mischief at Hibben’s