One Hour in the Past E504 – Elections


Welcome to One Hour in the Past, a podcast series presented by the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.

Have you ever noticed that a simple information search can lead you in strange and wonderful directions? As in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, historical research can lead you down a winding rabbit hole that might take you off your original path and lead you to new and amazing historical places!

This podcast series starts with that premise! Adrian Petry, Visitors Services Coordinator and Kathleen Powell, Supervisor of Historical Services and Curator, both from the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, have challenged each other to explore the weird and wonderful places that one hour of research on a topic will take them. Join them as they share their findings!


On this episode of One Hour in the Past, Kathleen and Adrian explore the history of elections, with some interesting rabbit-hole discussions of the Chief Electoral Officer and campaign posters.



1 – A History of the Vote in Canada

2 – Kathleen’s lecture on the 1917 Election

3 – Macdonald’s 1891 Campaign Poster

A political cartoon style campaign poster. Pictured is John A Macdonald sitting on the shoulders of a farmer and a butcher. Macdonald is wearing a black coat with orange plaid pants and holding a red ensign flag. The farmer has a beard and is wearing a straw hat, red shirt, and brown pants with suspenders. The butcher is wearing a paper hat, has a mustache, green shirt, and a brown apron. In the background a steam train can be seen in front of a large factory on the right hand side. On the left is farm implements and a farm house.  At the bottom of the poster, it reads "The Old Flag, The Old Policy, The Old Leader."

3 – 1930s Liberal Campaign Poster

A political cartoon-style campaign poster. A woman, wearing a red coat trimmed with black fur and holding her hand bag and pocket book is standing in front of a shop window with her child. On display in the window are washing machines, tea, baby strollers, type writers, sewing machines, and China ware. A sign on the window says "Liberal Budget 1930: Reduced Duties, Reduced Prices." At the top it says "Vote Liberal." At the bottom it says "The Liberal Budget Saves the Housewife Money."
3 – Loyal Canadians Take Your Choice, 1891.
Two flags - the red ensign and the American flag - hang opposite each other on a blank background. The title says "Loyal Canadians Take Your Choice." The text on the red ensign flag says "Conservative Platform. Loyalty to Great Britain, protection to native industries, reciprocity in natural products." The text on the American flag says "Yankee Grit Platform, Unrestricted reciprocity. Annexation! Ruin!"

6 – 1917 Election Poster ft. Kaiser Wilhiem

A political campaign poster. Pictured is a caricature of Kaiser Wilhelm II wearing a large coat trimmed with fur and a German military helmet. He is raising a large stein of beer to a poster on a wall that reads "Laurier's policy manifesto - desert and betray Canada's boys at the front." The main title reads: "One who is pleased. The Kaiser: "Hoch der, Laurier Policy! If he wins, there will be no more Canadians to worry me" Vote - Union - Government.

7 – King’s Pickles, c. 1935.

A political cartoon campaign poster. A large pickle jar with the labels reading "King's Policy Pickles" "Made to Suit All Tastes" "King's Mixed Pickles 57 Varieties" Inside the jar are pickles which are labelled a variety of things including "Tariff for revenue" "Private ownership" "Policy on the West".

8 – JFK, 1960

A political campaign poster. A photograph of John F. Kennedy sits on top of a red, white, and blue background. At the top it says "Kennedy for President" and at the bottom it says "Leadership for the 60's"

9 – Abraham Lincoln, c. 1860.

Political campaign poster. A picture of Abraham Lincoln is sideways at the top right corner of the American flag, on a blue background surrounded by a circle of stars. Inside the white stripes of the flag is written "For President, Abraham Lincoln. For Vice President Hannibal Hamlin."

10 – Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore, c. 1849.

A political campaign poster. Two portraits sit next to each other. On the left, Z. Taylor, on the right M. Fillmore. The portraits sit in front of two red curtains, opened to reveal waving American flags supporting a globe with an eagle perched on top. The poster is decorated lavishly with laurels and stars. Under the portraits banners read "The People's President from 1849. Choice for Vice President to 1853.

11 – Teddy Roosevelt – Good Enough For Me, c. 1904.

Political cartoon campaign ribbon. Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt is surrounded by laurels and American flags. A worker wearing a paper hat, red apron, red striped shirt, and blue pants is pictured underneath the portrait and is pointing up at Roosevelt. The poster reads: "Republican Party. He's good enough for me and so is the whole Republican ticket. Watcher. Election, Tuesday, November 8th, 1904. Wear this to the polls."

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