Sunday, June 19, 2011

55th Annual Warkworth Donnybrook Show and Sale

Saturday June 18th 2011 was a hot day and a hot night in the town of Warkworth Ontario. The 55th Annual Warkworth Donnybrook Sale and Auction packed the Fair Grounds with bargains and bargain hunters of every description.

The material is collected in mass donations, and then sold in rummage sales and at auction in the town community center / hockey arena

The action started in the northwest red barn at 5pm. The event now dominates the entire Fair Grounds; it has outgrown the hockey arena. There are two additional venues full of stuff. the two red barns at the west end of the Fairgrounds are filled with boxes full of stuff

At 5pm there were over three hundred people waiting out front of the red barns. This is where the evening started. At age 55 the event has grown larger than the hockey arena - the clothing, books and toys are now kept in this separate venue which is first to open to the public and thereby heighten its ';early attraction' status

Here’s the crowd sorting through the toys, ceramic bookends, knickknacks , insulated drink cups, clock radios, PS2 gamer controllers, VHS tapes, BugsBunny underwear

Hamburgers were $4.00 each and came with optional (free) fried onions. Proceeds are donated to The Scouts - no longer are they just 'boy' scouts.

Weeks before the annual event, the Warkworth Community Service Club spreads the word in newspapers and meetings. Residents of the town and surrounding area are encouraged to donate goods they no longer want or need * but still in good working order and of some value to someone. After 55 years pretty much everyone knows the drill and most farm families donate something as the closing of act of their own annual spring cleaning ritual. When cleaning their houses and barns, local townspeople and farmers make two piles – one for the dump and the other for the Donnybrook.
Members of the service club drive their trucks around and pick up the material that people leave curbside on a particular night - or more rural participants can drop off material that same night at the arena.

The old electronics equipment sells for a premium in Toronto antiques stores to scores of well paid IT staff who marvel at how downright simple things used to be.

The rest of the hockey arena floor was littered with furniture of all descriptions, sofas perfect for the cottage, wall units, tables and chairs, electronics, household goods, sporting goods,


For 30 minutes before the auction started a man in a red shirt droned on over the PA system,
‘The Auction starts at 7pm’
‘You don’t need to be registered to bid in the auction’
‘Just pay a service club member in a red shirt’
‘The antiques and collectibles are along the north wall of the arena, under the clock’

Marshall Gummer was there and acting it up as The Appraiser

The fellow who purchased the side table is Jim Connor from Campbellford, an astute and knowledgable collector. The item was a late Georgian or Early Victorian paper mache serving tray with mother-of-pearl inlay. The base was probably a later addition but did not fool Jim in spotting a treasure. His $60 purchase is probably worth $300-$400 !

Friday, June 17, 2011

Miller's Prepared Glycerine

MILLER, HUGH, pharmacist, jp, and office holder; b. 2 June 1818 in Inverness, Scotland; m. 8 June 1847 Helen Dow in Whitby, Upper Canada, and they had seven children; d. 24 Dec. 1898 in Toronto.

Hugh Miller immigrated to Upper Canada in 1841 and established himself in Toronto. Having been trained as a pharmacist, he worked briefly for two pharmaceutical firms before opening a retail pharmacy on King Street East. He continued to operate it, enjoying a reasonable success, until his death. For a time two of his sons were associated with him in the practice. The elder, William, was most actively involved, but he died in 1894; Kenneth A. had left pharmacy in the early 1880s.

Besides operating his business, Miller was prominent in the establishment and administration of various organizations of Ontario pharmacists. During the 1860s, following the lead of their colleagues in Britain and the United States, pharmacists in the Canadas had begun to move towards formal associations in order to counter threats from the medical profession to their accustomed freedoms. Miller was a founding member and vice-president of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Society, established in 1867 in Toronto accountants to press the new federal government for legislation which would create a regulatory and professional association. By the autumn of 1868 it had become evident that such legislation would not be quickly forthcoming, and the CPhS turned to the provincial government for help. Miller and a handful of colleagues were selected to draft pharmacy legislation, which became the Ontario Pharmacy Act of 1871.

The act created the Ontario College of Pharmacy as a regulatory body with the power to issue licences to those entitled to practise under the act and allowed physicians and surgeons to be licensed as pharmacists without examination. It also outlined the organizational structure of the OCP, empowered it to hold property, and controlled the sale of poisons, the use of titles such as druggist and pharmacist, and the operation of pharmaceutical shops. The college, which until the early part of the 20th century had considerable national importance, also carried responsibility for the education of pharmacists. Its first president was William Elliot. Miller was elected to the council of the OCP at its inception, and he was regularly returned until 1888, serving as president between 1881 and 1883. During his presidency the OCP founded a school of pharmacy, which became affiliated with the University of Toronto in 1892 and an independent faculty of the university in 1953.

Although Miller never ran for political office, he was a staunch supporter of the Liberal party and a confidant of George Brown* and Alexander Mackenzie. He never forgot his homeland, and he was active in a number of Scottish organizations in Toronto, including the St Andrew’s Society, the Sons of Scotland, the Caledonian Society, and the Gaelic Society. He also belonged to the York Pioneer and Historical Society. Described in an obituary as “one of the most esteemed” freemasons in Toronto, he had joined the order in Britain and in Toronto was associated with St Andrew’s Lodge No. 16. During the last 25 years of his life, Miller acted as a justice of the peace, and from about 1894 as an assistant police magistrate. The latter activity, in which he was engaged until the day before his death, earned him wide respect.

Ernst W. Stieb

Here's product shots,

Canadian Druggist (Strathroy, Ont., and Toronto), 11 (1899): 9. Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal (Toronto), 32 (1898–99): 282. Evening News (Toronto), 27 Dec. 1898. Globe, 26 Dec. 1898. Toronto World, 26 Dec. 1898. Toronto directory, 1843–99. A brief history of pharmacy in Canada, ed. A. V. Raison ([Toronto, 1969]), 70–75. Elizabeth MacNab, A legal history of health professions in Ontario . . . (Toronto, [1970]), 216–43. One hundred years of pharmacy in Canada, 1867–1967, [ed. E. W. Stieb] (Toronto, 1969). B. P. DesRoches, “The first 100 years of pharmacy in Ontario,” Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal, 105 (1972): 225–27. E. W. Stieb, “A century of formal pharmaceutical education in Ontario,” Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal (Ottawa), 116 (1983): 104–7, 153–57; “A professional keeping shop: the nineteenth-century apothecary,” Material Hist. Bull. (Ottawa), 22 (1985): 1–10.

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