Recently I went and visited an antique show here in Toronto at a local mall called “Cloverdale“, there was lots and lots of items for sale but nothing mid-century for this gal until I saw a really cool hat box at one of the tables. Seen here…
The box was not in great condition but after quickly searching the name on the box “Morgans” I discovered that it was a little bit of Canadian history, so I ran back and scooped it up for a steal and a history lesson from its owners.
Apparently, Morgan’s (formally Henry Morgan & Company) was a Montreal-based Canadian department store chain. The first store was opened in Montreal in 1845 by Scottish immigrant Henry Morgan with a second store not appearing till the early 1950s in the Snowdon section of Montreal. Other stores subsequently opened on the island of Montreal, and several Ontario cities (Wikipedia).
After being open for over 100 years, in the 1960s the Hudson Bay Company purchased Morgans and quickly converted the Ontario stores to “Bay’s”. By the early 1970s the Quebec stores followed suit and that was the end of the brand Morgans….until I found my box! Now we can share in a moment of Canadian history together and bring to life the department store once more.
The Early Days:
Morgan’s department store in Montreal decorated for the 1939 Royal Tour of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. So Elegant.
I wish we could see setups like this again when royalty comes to visit.
Here are some images of other Morgans in the 1950’s
Hamilton’s Greater Shopping Centers-Morgans
Interior shots of the Hamilton store being prepared for opening
A miniature milk bar for the kids. Oh my how cute!!
Male Mannequins for the store. Kind of creepy I think. Actually Really Really Creepy!
Group of Sales women attending a class to be able to work at Morgan’s.
What marvelous hair all these ladies have.
Learning how to use the Cash Register.
Morgans 1950’s ad for Schiaparelli Hats. Love this! How do I get this hat?
Hungry anyone? I will have the Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding (my fav!).
Gosh could you imagine if a Buffet (then called a Smorgasbord) was $1.19 today? Yikes!
“As new as tomorrow”….How exciting, I love things that are as new as tomorrow!
1970s Morgans after the Hudson Bay took it over (this would be its last logo change)
Interesting Fact: It looks like Morgans was the first department store to move into family neighborhoods, as opposed to making a trip downtown to go shopping (as seen below). I’m sure this made many a family lives easier.
This ad makes me giggle. What is with the triangle people??
And that interesting fact ties in with the knowledge that where I bought the hat box was actually where a Morgans Department store once stood in the 1960s at Cloverdale Mall. It was under my nose the whole time and I never knew! How exciting!
There you have it friends, a little bit of Canadian History.
Do you have a department store where you live that has been around for years or maybe know of one like Morgans that has come and gone? I would love to hear about it.