This Thursday September 22 at 7:30pm, author/artist Michael Kluckner presents an illustrated talk titled Selling Bread to Housewives in the 1920s. The lecture, part of the Vancouver Historical Society speaker series, is by donation at the Museum of Vancouver, 11100 Chestnut Street. All are welcome to attend.
The plight of the overworked housewife, juggling her duties raising children and running a household, became a running theme in newspaper advertising of the Shelly’s 4X Bakery in the 1920s. Other bakery ads tracked the public-health and safety concerns of the era, speaking to hygiene, to bread-delivery boys who never touched the horses pulling the 4X wagons, and to the safety of children going to corner stores carrying Shelly’s products.
Vancouver Historical Society President Michael Kluckner first researched William Curtis Shelly and his bakery in 1989, after painting Shelly’s old Fairview house that appeared slated for demolition; Shelly was a well-known businessman and politician, serving as the chair of Vancouver’s Park Board and as the province’s Minister of Finance. Kluckner’s interest was rekindled in 2011 during the renovation of an old grocery store on Victoria Drive – a faded Shelly’s Bakery sign painted on the sidewall emerged into the sunlight after a half-century hidden beneath a coat of stucco.
Michael Kluckner is the president of the Vancouver Historical Society and volunteers on the city’s Heritage Commission. The author and illustrator of more than 15 books, most notably the 1990 Vanishing Vancouver, he has recently turned his creative attention to graphic novels. Toshiko, a story set in BC during the Second World War involving a Japanese-Canadian girl, was published in 2015.
For more information on the upcoming Vancouver Historical Society lecture series, click here.