1930s


Rainbow Protex Ltd.

This photograph shows a stand at a trade show in the 1920s or 1930s. The company represented is Rainbow Protex, a manufacturer of auto top dressings and boot and shoe polish. At this period, car roofs were usually made of fabric that had been coated with rubber. To keep them looking good and to protect the rubber from the effects of sunlight and cold or wet weather, black oil-based varnishes known as auto top dressings were applied to their surfaces.

This particular company’s head office was in Toronto, but (according to the photograph) the factory that produced the polishes and dressings was in Deseronto. One of the men in the photograph is William Macdonald Mackintosh, a chemist, originally from Liverpool in England (U.S. patent no. 771,257 was issued in 1904 for his ‘Compound for Waterproofing Fabrics’). Mackintosh’s granddaughter got in touch with the Archives recently, asking whether we had any information about the company for which Mackintosh was working.

We don’t have any details about the firm in the Archives, so, with her permission, we are sharing this copy of Martha Mackintosh’s photograph here, in case anyone can tell as more about this particular company. We would like to know exactly where in Deseronto its factory was and when it was in operation. Please comment if you can help!

Metcalfe Foods had canning factories in Deseronto from 1912, according to a Deseronto Post article published in 1948. The archives has three copies of this photograph of the staff of the firm, taken in the 1930s (either 1932 or 1938, according to notes on the photos).

Staff of Metcalfe Foods, 1930s

Staff of Metcalfe Foods, 1930s

One of the employees pictured here, Floyd Marlin, wrote down many of the names of those pictured and his list is reproduced below. If you are able to fill in any of the gaps, please post a comment or drop the Archives an email. Some of the spellings here are possibly wrong, so please let us know if you spot one that needs correcting.

Front row, left to right:
?
?
?
Pansy Lindsay
Mrs McCabe
Muriel Cole
Gerty Toppings
Mrs Ed Martin
Mrs McLaughlin
Mrs Herb Histed
Lila Histed
?
Lizzy Marlin
Mrs Wager
Mrs Harv Scriver
Mrs Norm Davis
?
?
? Smith
Marion Clause
Mrs Scyler Smith

Second row:
?
?
Ruby Maracle
Mrs Herb Maracle
Barbara Rennolds
Jean Cronk
Mrs E. [Ernie] Crisp
Bessie Young
Mrs Cat Young
Mrs Bill Miller
?
Lola Brooks
Violet Cole
Mrs Bessy O’Ray
Annie Johndrew
Meta Clause
Mrs Hoppings
Mrs De Mille
?
Susan Maracle
Audrey Maracle
?
Mrs Fred Laurence

Third row:
Mrs A. Joyce
Mrs Bill Purvis
Vera Dawson
Mrs Abe Cronk
?
Alice Leafe
Mrs Morley Gault
Mrs Arney Cole
Mrs Alport
?
Mrs Nellie Tompkins
Maude Covert
Elsie Maracle
Verda Maracle
Muriel Cole
? Gault
Lou Green

Back row:
?
Fred Powell
?
Tom Jackson
Jim Sharpe
Bert Richardson
Art Howard
Abe Cronk
Ed. Chambers
Dixie [?] Green
Jim Sager
Evert Martin
Claborn Tompkins
Norm Davis
Floyd Marlin
Walter Joyce
Jack Barber
Joe Clare
Fred Hoppings
Phil ‘Cribby’ Blake

Maude Covert, who also appears in this photograph, lived at the house we featured in an earlier post.

Maude Covert

Maude Covert

The 100th photo in the Archives’ Flickr collection is this shot of the Circle Six Orchestra from 1932.


The only information we have about this band is taken from a cutting that was attached to the back of the photo:

This popular orchestra is composed entirely of Deseronto boys and has been organized for the past five years. Since this photograph was taken the traps player, James McVicker, has added a set of temple blocks to his equipment. Reading from left to right the players are – Reginald Dawson, Roy Woodcock, Clayton John, James McVicker, Marshall Woodcock and Roy Kitchen (now a resident of Tweed).

We’d love to know more about this band and its members.

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