World War II

J.R. Sams Families War Scrapbook

Lieutenant Joseph Reed Sams enlisted in 1943 and fought with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. While he was on the front, his family kept a scrapbook of the major battles that they thought Sams may have been a part of. Throughout the scrapbook are items that are more personalized, such as the telegram informing the family that Sams had been wounded. Other interesting items are; Nazi insignia badge, Sams campaign ribbon, and a fifty Reichsmark bill. Post-war, J.R. Sams went on to become an insurance agent, and in 1963 was elected to be the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wentworth, Ontario .

Army jeep Winnipeg insurance premium reminder

Winnipeg November Premium Reminder

This Winnipeg insurance company used an army jeep to remind people to pay their premiums.

"They gave their own lives"

Although this service was held after the Second World War, its content and symbols were redolent of the First.

Keeping an eye on prices

The ceiling price - the maximum price that could be charged for any good purchased - was a key element of Canada's wartime strategy to control inflation, and the government relied on shoppers to help enforce price ceilings.

To the women of Canada

Price controls constituted a major step for Canada's government of the Second World War, so Donald Gordon, the man in charge of implementing them, took every opportunity to explain the process to community groups.

Bingo for War Victims

A huge bingo game at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens in 1941 raised money for the British War Victims' Fund, organized by the Telegram. Hockey announcer Foster Hewitt was a featured guest.

View PDF: Bingo.pdf

Serve by Saving

A pamphlet advertising War Savings Certificates, a program in which civilians purchased stamps and could redeem them after the war for a higher value.

Making use of available materials

A letter home to Canada written on birch bark.

View PDF: Birch Letter.pdf

Musical Propaganda

A pamphlet sold on the home front for 25 cents with sheet music and lyrics for the song "Hitler on the Run!" by Neil MacDonald.

Behind the scenes on butter

A collection of stamps, an envelope, a letter, and a certification card regarding the production of rationed butter.

View PDF: Butter Rations.pdf

Christmas Update

A Christmas newpaper to keep the troops stationed in Aldershot, Nova Scotia informed about the events going on around the base.

Christmas in uniform

Few soldiers enjoyed being away from home at Christmas - but a proper Christmas dinner might have helped to soften the blow.

Advertising with the Admiral

Admiral Percy Nelles was Canada's Chief of Naval Staff during the Second World War - but one wonders if he gave his permission for his image to be used on this advertisement from a New Brunswick dry goods store.

Paying for the war

During the Second World War, the federal government hope to run the war on a pay-as-you-go basis - with funding provided by Canadians themselves, using instruments such as War Savings Certificates.

For bubble gum card collectors

Most children were interested in collecting the bubble gum cards, rather than in saving the packaging - which is also an interesting example of contemporary graphic art.

Be prepared for bombs

As the enemy developed new types of incendiary bombs, it was necessary to keep the public informed about new procedures - despite the fact that a fire raid on Halifax or Winnipeg was unlikely.

Pull Together, Canada

Patterned after a successful American number, this song "brings patriotism down to brass tacks and shows, in a simple and compelling way, how every Canadian can play his part."

View PDF: You Can Fight.pdf

"Where does your money go?"

The federal government used every tactic to convince Canadians to help finance the Second World War domestically - including mobilizing cartoon figures by Walt Disney.

"Guardians of our hearths"

Speaking to the women who controlled four out of every five dollars spent in Canada, Charlotte Whitton explained inflation, price controls, and the power that women could exercise to help with the war.

To the voters of New Brunswick

The New Brunswick provincial election of 20 November 1939 saw Alison Dysart's Liberals returned to power, after the premier pledged in a letter to voters to stay the course as the country went to war.