Saskatoon Public Library  
     
  Saskatoon Through the Ages:
selected photographs from Local History Gallery Shows
 
     
 

Photo 1 of 22 | | |

2010 - Home Delivery

There was a time when everything from coal to groceries would be delivered to your doorstep. The milkman would bring your milk, the paper boy would deliver your newspaper, and the postman would drop off your mail, sometimes twice-daily. Congratulations or sad news from afar would come in the form of a hand-delivered telegram. Milk wagons, bread wagons, ice wagons and honey wagons were a common sight on Saskatoon streets. Doctors and nurses would make house calls. Before electric refrigerators, the iceman would deliver the blocks of ice needed to keep iceboxes cool. Coal and wood would be delivered to feed the furnaces and stores of Saskatoon homes. Home delivery was a common service.

The drivers who made the regular door-to-door deliveries were known by name. So were the horses, who were as well-known in the neighbourhood as their drivers.

Trucks and vans would replace the horse-drawn wagons and by the end of the 1950s, home delivery would fall into decline. The iron coal chutes and milk chutes or cupboards on some Saskatoon homes are testimony to a rapidly disappearing part of the city’s social history.

Photographs in the Local History Room Collection show a time when something as large as a house would often be moved to a different site rather than being demolished – the ultimate in home delivery.

Join us in remembering the time when bread and milk even babies were home delivered.

Home Delivery was curated by Ron Jaremko, with the assistance of Local History Room staff: Kathy Snider, Dorothea Funk, Mary Ellen Schnitzler, Elaine Kozakavich.



2010 - Home Delivery

Small dairies in the early years of Saskatoon purchased plain milk bottles from glass distributors as they were very inexpensive. Smaller operations did not bottle their milk but sold it from milk cans. Henry James Conn, the owner of the Jersey Dairy farmed near Saskatoon in the Eagle Creek area. The dairy, a barber shop, a poolroom and a bowling alley were other ventures Conn pursued after farming and before moving to Kelowna.

Date: [191-]

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Photo 2 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

In 1911 Harold Cosford’s first job was as a driver for R.F. Preston’s Second Avenue Butcher Shop. Cosford had come west in 1910 to make his home in Saskatoon. Richard Freeman Preston had come from Manitoba in 1906 and opened his first store on Twentieth Street. By 1911 Preston had three shops – at 261 Second Avenue, 817 Broadway and 117 Twentieth Street West as well as his own slaughterhouse. He employed some twenty men and operated delivery rigs from each market. In 1914 Preston would sell out to the Sterling Meat Company. At that time he had six butcher shops as well as a large retail store in Sutherland. R.F. Preston would die of diabetes in 1915 at age 48.

Date: [ca. 1910]

Note: Image has been cropped from original.

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Photo 3 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

In April 1913 when Arthur Rose opened his dry cleaning business at 624 Twentieth Street West he discovered that driving a horse and wagon was not something he could do well. Philip Mahner, a farm boy, was hired as the company’s first driver. He is seen here with the delivery horse George. Arthur Rose can be seen at the far right under the company slogan “If Rose Cleaned It - It’s C-L-E-A-N.”

Date: 1913.

Note: Image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 4 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

Unless they were connected to the city water mains, some Saskatoon residents had to rely on the sprinkler or water wagon for their water supply. In 1911 at a rate of six barrels of about forty gallons each for a dollar the extra cost could be prohibitive. Outbreaks of typhoid and disease had prompted the health department to close all city wells. Contamination by sewage had rendered the water not fit for consumption. Despite the construction of two water towers the city often had problems in supplying water to its citizens. Water wagons would continue to service outlying parts of the city until well after the war.

Date: [ca. 1912]

Note: Original image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 5 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

Buildings being moved along Saskatoon streets were a familiar sight as W.W. Jackson the building mover hauled them out of the way of new development and on to different locations. William Wilson Jackson had begun a moving business in 1911 known as Jackson and Harrison but would form his own company in 1916. During World War I he sometimes moved as many as three hundred buildings a year. Many citizens found opportunity to establish new homes from buildings moved by Mr. Jackson as is shown by this house being moved along Thirty-third Street near Avenue A. At his funeral in 1943 it was said of him – “He created good and beauty out of what had been abandoned, making it beneficial to his fellow men.”

Date: [ca. 1916]

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Photo 6 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

When Thomas Dawes purchased the City Carpet Cleaning Works in July 1916, he advertised in the Daily Star that “we call for and deliver your carpet within 24 hours - -$1 will dust clean 10 sq. yards; repairs a specialty.” Over the years the promise and the service would be maintained by the family firm. Three of the Dawes children, Fred, Frances and May ride in the back of their dad’s delivery vehicle.

Date: 1917.

Note: Original image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 7 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

To get a railway telegraphy job an operator had to transmit twenty words a minute in Morse code and pass a medical and a railway rules test. Among the men grouped around the table with telegraphy equipment was CPR agent John Matthews. He along with the other men were in Saskatoon in 1919 taking a telegraphy course. Telegraphers in the early years served as unofficial news sources, often sending the first word of significant local events.

Date: 1919.

Note: Original image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 8 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

Home and Central Bakeries were the bakers of Golden Crust and of Snowflake sanitary wrapped bread – the new loaf with the old home taste. Charles Nash and Ernest Ross who had operated the downtown Central Bakery, in1922 purchased Home Bakery in Nutana and combined the names. In addition to the shown location at 722 Broadway Avenue, branches were located at 226 Second Avenue South and 222 Twenty-first Street East. By 1928 the initial two delivery wagons had grown to nine wagons on the bread route and two motor trucks. Shortly thereafter the business was sold to McGavin’s Ltd.

Date: [1923 - 1929]

Note: Original image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 9 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

Each year Star-Phoenix carrier boys were honoured for their service at a banquet. The young boys were not only fed but were also presented with prizes. Some of the prizes are displayed on the table in this unknown banquet room.

Date: [before 1950]

Note: Original image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 10 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

Herbert Hamer established his messenger service and parcel delivery business in 1929. With a small office downtown, Hamer would deliver parcels on his motorcycle from his residence at 1521 Avenue E North. The business would last until 1932 when Herbert Hamer became a driver for the Black and White Cab Company.

Date: [1929-1932]

Note: Original image has been retouched for display.

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Photo 11 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

The drivers and trucks outside the Builder’s Supply and Fuel Company Limited building at 419 Twenty-third Street West are ready to deliver the coal and wood needed to feed Saskatoon’s furnaces and stores. The company was started by Robert L. Miller in 1932 to supply lumber and fuel. Before natural gas heating, wood and coal were household necessities. As the side of the trucks indicate Builder’s Supply and Fuel Company dealt in Blue Flame coal. The company would move to Sutherland in 1959.

Date: [193-]

Note: Image has been cropped from original.

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Photo 12 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

Sam Christopher was a self-employed businessman. One of his early ventures was the delivery business. In 1934 Christopher would establish Our Delivery Service on Second Avenue North. He would operate Our Delivery until 1943 when he opened a White Rose Service Station. Among his early drivers was a young Fred Dawes who would drive for Our Delivery in 1935 before becoming a truck driver for Bowman Brothers.

Date: 1935.

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Photo 13 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

As early as 1911 Wilmot Watson, one of Saskatoon’s first taxi operators bought a shiny new touring car for his auto livery business. In 1935 when George Nesbitt and his brothers Jim and Roy would purchase the Grey Cab Taxi Company there were five taxi companies in Saskatoon. Nesbitt would run the taxi business for some twenty years. During that time he would sponsor the champion Grey Cab Rambler ladies’ softball club.

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Photo 14 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

The September 11, 1952 edition of the Star-Phoenix commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the Star-Phoenix and the seventieth anniversary of the city of Saskatoon. To help deliver the 104-page special edition Star-Phoenix delivery boy Jim Ferguson hired five helpers for his University Drive route. Jack Gilliland, Wendy Wedge, Ian McLean, Reg Ferguson and Tim Ferguson helped deliver the big paper to the readers.

Date: September 11, 1952.

Photographer: Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

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Photo 15 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

In 1952 Saskatoon had five milk dealers. These included Hill’s Dairy, Palm Dairies, Purity Dairy, Saskatchewan Co-operative Creamery and Silverwood Western Dairies. Many of them had horse-drawn delivery wagons for their residential customers. The last of the horse-drawn milk wagons disappeared from Saskatoon streets in 1962. Their departure saddened the hearts of many. Some customers even asked to buy the horse on their route when mechanization took over.

Date: January 1946.

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Photo 16 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

In her navy uniform and with her sturdy black bag the VON nurse is off to give bedside care to the ill and the aged. The Victorian Order of Nurses was established in Saskatoon in 1912 when the Hospital and Benefit Society decided to affiliate with the VON. An indispensable nursing service, the Victorian Order of Nurses made possible the care of patients ill at home or unable to pay the cost of private nursing.

Date: September 7, 1957.

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Photo 17 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

When Robert M. Pinder bought out the interests of the Saskatoon Drug and Stationery Company in 1917, he began a family enterprise that would last some eighty years. The company would expand to many locations, each of which provided complete drug service. Advertisements promised accurate and prompt prescription service with phone and delivery service as well as a shipping department to take care of out-of-town orders. Pinder’s 1954 delivery van is parked on Twenty-fifth Street at Kinsmen Park.

Date: February 23, 1954.

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Photo 18 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

The horses who delivered the milk to Saskatoon homes were often as well known in the neighbourhood as their drivers. Braving his last winter pulling a milk wagon, Roy, the horse, did not fail his customers on the morning of December 21, 1961 when he and his driver Ted Shields braved the sub-zero temperature at Thirteenth Street and Cumberland Avenue. At the time Roy was one of twenty-one horses still used by the Saskatchewan Co-operative Creamery for delivering milk.

Date: December 21, 1961.

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Photo 19 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

In August 1976 Kristin Hauser was one of the volunteers delivering hot meals to the elderly and handicapped for the Meals on Wheels programme. Meals on Wheels had been started in 1967 by the diocesan board of Anglican Church Women as a centennial project. A volunteer based food delivery programme, fresh hot meals are delivered Monday to Friday and frozen meals for the weekend. The service not only provides one hot, nutritious meal per day for the elderly and disabled but also serves as a link to the outside world.

Date: August 26, 1976.

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Photo 20 of 22 | | |


2010 - Home Delivery

Newspaper carriers have always been innovative in the ingenious methods used to deliver the newspaper on time. Paperboy Todd Janzen, 13 in July 1980, took advantage of the fad for roller skating to deliver his papers in a novel way. Janzen said that he could easily deliver forty papers in twenty minutes when he really got the wheels rolling.

Date: July 31, 1980.

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