Flipping pages of catalogues from
the 1960s makes you realize how much life has
changed – not only in what you purchase but how
you make that purchase. It was as simple as
filling in the order form, taking it to the post
office and buying a money order, then waiting for
the package to arrive.
Online shopping has taken over.
Gone are the exciting days when the new catalogue
from Simpson's or Eaton's arrived and everyone
waited for his turn to turn the pages. Sigh ...
Mail order catalogues from
Eaton's or Simpson's were the source of virtually
anything a person needed (other than groceries).
Those who lived further from large centres took
advantage of this to purchase everything from farm
equipment such as an electric brooder to house 200
chickens at a time, fabrics from the most basic
cotton to fine silks, furniture, vinyl records (a
4-record set by Don Messer and his Islanders for
$2.75) to power tools. If one was musically
inclined, the instruments were there too.
An amorous young man could buy a
diamond engagement ring and wedding ring for
$79.50 (delivered) from Eaton's 1963 catalogue. Or
he could go all out and spend $400 on the
engagement ring alone.
The 1960 Beaver Lumber Catalogue
lists numerous packages for build-it-yourself
homes. A two-bedroom home "package" could be
purchased for $4,235. All materials (including
hardware, nails, zonolite insulation and cement
for a full basement) + building instructions are
included in the price. All that is needed is to
build it yourself! The Beaver (Alberta) Lumber
Limited dealer in Onoway at that time was Claude Osga; the lumber yard phone number
You can probably still see these Beaver Lumber
homes in the Onoway area today!
Onoway Museum has
numerous catalogues (including farm equipment
dealers) that throw light on what life was
like decades ago – worth a look!
to impress your bride-to-be!
musicians who loved the Kingston
Trio, Elvis, or Johnny Cash
could invest in a guitar in
pursuit of their dreams.