Genealogy History

A Golden Model for the T. Eaton Company

Children Models for the T. Eaton Company 1914 Winnipeg | Alex Inspired - A Golden Model for the T. Eaton Company

My Grandpa, Stanley Golden landed his first job when he was only three years old – as a child model for the T. Eaton Company (Winnipeg). I’m not completely sure of how he landed such a fashionable role, but I have a feeling Great Grandmama had something to do with it. She was a pretty stylish woman.

This picture is dated March 2, 1914.
Here he, is front and centre (pretty darn cute) with his hand in his pocket, dressed in stylish Edwardian clothing.

Children models for the 1914 Eaton's Fashion show in Winnipeg (Stanley Golden front and centre) | Alex Inspired

I would love to learn more about this photo and who the other children are, so if anyone has any information, please comment below!

I decided to use my own methods to find more information. Newspapers.com offered a little glimpse into the photo.

From the Winnipeg Tribune
Tuesday March 3, 1914 – Eaton’s Daily Store News:

A Garden of New Fashions Freshly A-bloom Everyday
Who cares if March did take it into its head to come in like a lion, yesterday Winter snapped its bonds right royally and Spring and Spring fashions burst gloriously a-bloom at Eaton’s. And what of the new styles? Exquisite! Beautiful! Charming! were enthusiastic exclamations of approval of thousands who attended the Eaton Spring Fashion opening. A rare smartness is the key note of the new Millinery, largely distinctive as it is, with a saucy tilt that is decidedly youthful and wonderfully chic. And the whole character of the season’s styles in suits and costumes speak for grace, elegance and youth – a new silhouette bringing the bustle, the flounce and the flaring coattail. Yesterday’s fashion show was merely the forerunner of a fast-following procession of lovely new modes from noted Paris and New York Designers so — From now until Easter there’ll be new charm and fresh interest to greet you in these Eaton Style Salons — no matter when you may come. 

I am assuming, based on the dates of the photograph and the article, this is the Fashion show little Stanley participated in. This still hadn’t satisfied my curiosity. What if baby grandpa was in a catalogue!? (Because how cool is it to see your grandparent as a kid? isn’t it awesome? #bloomers). To view a few other pictures of Baby Stanley, and his other Eaton’s apparel – click here.

I went on the search for a Spring clothing catalog from 1914, but came up with nothing – just a catalog from winter 1913 – 1914. I started pondering; there probably wasn’t a Spring-Summer 1914 Catalog, WWI had just begun and things at the time for Eaton’s was pretty surreal.

Did you know the T. Eaton Company was extremely generous and compassionate during the war?

The Great War had men from all over Canada enlisting for military service; sacrificing and putting off their careers. Sir John Craig Eaton (Timmothy’s son) knew he had a duty to his country and to his company, especially with over 3,000 of his employees heading to the front.

War memorials - 1918 Victory statue, November 1918 T. Eaton Company fonds Reference Code: F 229-308-0-1090 Archives of Ontario

He valued patriotism and decided to offer something no other company would: Full paid salaries to all married men who enlisted, in addition to their military pay. Unmarried men who enlisted would also receive half their salary plus military pay.

Not only did John Eaton put his employees first, he also donated $100,000 of his own funds towards the outfitting of 15 armoured trucks – which would later be called the “Eaton’s Machine Gun Battery”.

All military contracts received for equipment such as uniforms and boots would be delivered at cost, and new initiatives were created: premium savings accounts as well as gift baskets and hampers to be sent to soldiers, nurses and prisoners of war.

victory boxes for the great war to be Purchased at Eaton's Stores | Alex Inspired

victory boxes for the great war to be Purchased at Eaton's Stores | Alex Inspired

Whenever an “Eatonian” (Eaton’s Employee) was shipped overseas, a portrait picture was displayed of the solider in the Toronto Store. From my research, many of the portraits taken included the solider without a uniform – war was desperate and the need for soldiers was immediate.

Because Eaton’s was extremely organized with record keeping, all of the soldier’s portraits were tucked away after the war and stored alphabetically. The images and all of the Eaton’s Records now reside within the Archives of Ontario. The BEST Thing, there is a searchable database,and you can look through it here.

I think another very cool section of the Archives is the area where family members have identified their soldiers, you can read about their backgrounds and stories here.

Because of John Eaton’s contributions, he was named a Knight Bachelor in 1915 and he continued to serve his country and his employees well. Over $2.2 million was paid in wages by the end of the war; this amount surpassed every other Canadian Company.

Of the Soldiers/Eatonians who fought in the war, 315 never made it home.

Those who did return safely were welcomed back with open arms, not only to their jobs but to a full support system from the company and the staff. We all know, at the end of the day, Eaton’s put people first.

I don’t know about you, but I sure do miss our store.

Eaton's Port Arthur - Photo by Alex Inspired

 

Sources:


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