The Bride’s Book: A Perpetual Guide For The Montreal Bride
More than a hundred sponsors advertised in this giveaway volume. Ads appear between cocktail recipes, tips on twelve-course dinners, flower arranging, the care of pet canaries, and the editor’s admonishment to “Go to Church Every Sunday”. Experts explain Quebec’s marriage laws, detail pregnancy complications, and tout painless childbirth using “laughing gas” and “twilight sleep.” Baby and child care instructions include four pages on prevention and cure of rickets. Recipes include boiled mayonnaise, lobster omelet, hot tamales, cheese and walnut sandwiches, roast mutton, invalid gruel, and opera creams.
Graphically gorgeous ads provide many period domestic details. New Maytags included a washtub and hand wringer. A silk brocade pregnancy corset with laces cost $5; the Shirt Hospital mended blouses and shirts, darned socks, and repaired runs in silk stockings. Grocery stores were family-run and independent, and processed foods came from local businesses, including ice cream that could be ordered by phone from the Montreal Dairy at 1200 Papineau. Hires Root Beer came in 24-bottle wooden crates. Phone numbers began with PLateau, UPtown and WAlnut followed by four digits. But some things are almost familiar-Hicks Oriental Rugs and McKenna’s House of Flowers are both on Mountain Street. Construction on the Jacques Cartier Bridge had begun in 1925 and residential lots starting at $25 on the newly accessible South Shore are advertised as a good investment.
The Bride’s Book, thankfully, is only a curiosity for me and my daughters. mRb
I have this wonderful book, which had been a gift to my mother when she and my father were married in Montreal in 1936. Every time I visited my mother, I would retrieve the book and read aloud some of the very amusing articles. In fact, during my very last visit with her, just before she died, I read aloud to her from this book and cherish the smile I can still recall that crossed her beautiful face.
I have my Mum’s Brides book too
Born in Montreal in 1954 I still use my Mum’s book for ideas and recipes
Mum passed away nine years ago but every time I look at her book, I feel like she is here right beside me