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History Fans Rejoice!


Life + Learning

  • Canada Flag and History Buttons on Keyboard

Leah, Queen's Square | December 27, 2018

History fans rejoice! Immerse yourself in Canada’s past with first-class reporting from Maclean’s, Canada’s preeminent news magazine. You never know what historical gem you’ll uncover when you search our fabulous new database: Maclean’s Magazine Archive.

Think this year’s elections are crazy? Read about “When voting was a high adventure” in 1957, where Maclean’s looks back at the early years of voting when politicians hired gangs to stuff ballot boxes, riots abounded and vote-buying was common. There are even stranger articles about voting including this perplexing headline from 1947: “Never kick a lady”. You’ll just have to look that one up yourself!

From the serious to the frivolous, these articles will take you back in time. On the serious side, read the cover story “Determination in the workplace” from 1987 about pay equity. At the time, women were earning 65 cents to a man’s dollar and Donald Eascott, director of the Canadian Organization of Small Business, is ironically quoted as saying “Equality is not given, it is earned. People want to wait and see if women can do the job well enough.” Not exactly a comment you would see printed today.

On the frivolous side, my favourite thing to do is check out the old-timey ads. Whether it’s Egg-O Baking Powder (made in Hamilton) or Burroughs Adding Machines (which claim to “handle 45 big jobs” - a curiously specific number), these ads give you a real appreciation of the time. One of the best comes from the Canadian Chewing Gum Company for Chiclets, which are claimed to offer “protection to the teeth, aid to the digestion and relaxation for the nerves”, all at the low, low price of ten for five cents!

Travel back in time with full Maclean’s magazines from 1905 to 2015. It’s never been so easy to delve in Canada’s legacy. It’s never been so exciting to research our past. History has never been so juicy.