Looking Back

What day is it?

A glance at your watch or cell phone quickly shows you the day and date. Before these technological advances, the monthly calendar was where you looked. It was a vital part of every home (often in the kitchen) and office, and was prominently displayed.

Businesses used this to their advantage – some still do today but more subtly. The calendar was given (usually in a face-to-face situation) to faithful customers as a year-end thank you gift. The image on the calendar often reflected the business owner's philosophy, and the name of the business was very large; you couldn't ignore it. 

Onoway Museum's collection of calendars is wide-ranging but the Eddy Dales General Store collection is especially intriguing.

These calendars are all approximately the same size (10" x 20") therefore not easily hidden inside a cupboard door. Wire frames at upper and lower edges ensured that the paper didn't curl or bend. The pictures chosen for the calendar have universal appeal and can fit any room décor: idyllic landscapes, cuddly animals, smiling children. The business name, mailing address and phone number are very visible. On the bottom quarter of the calendar is the actual calendar – stapled on, with the months to be torn off, page by page. 

Looking more closely at the information on the calendars over the years, you see that, in 1959, Eddy's phone number is 22. In 1966, it is 932-5335. It changes again in 1978 to 967-5335. And there's one more change in after that.

Onoway Museum has calendars from numerous businesses that operated in Onoway over the years. Most of them are long gone but each calendar gives another insight into life in our community. 

Explore the calendars the next time you visit the museum. And if you happen to have one that would enhance the collection, the museum welcomes donations!

John A. Mills 1947 Calendar
Eddy Dales 1959 Calendar
John A. Mills 1947
Eddy Dales General Store 1959 phone 22

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 Last updated: September 2, 2014