When you think back to the birth year of the Winnipeg Football Club, the common mistake is to reason that this city, our country, and the world we live in has come a long way.
That some 75 years later, it is indeed, a different and better place.
So as we stroll down the 1930 memory lane, let's first stop at one of the most famous eras.
The Great Depression.
Rather than re-teach the events of the GD we'll just say that the dire straights of most Manitobans during this time led to some irrational acts. Looting, burglaries, and murders were common (not unlike today) as people got nervous.
Nationally, Canada was starting to feel the pressure of the GD and the man in the Prime Minister's chair (Liberal William Lyon Mackenzie King) was starting to squirm.
He became more uncomfortable when he lost the 1930 election to Conservative Richard Bennett, who used the old political formula of throwing money at a problem to make it go away.
The GD winds only blew that increased assistance cash away, however, and Canada remained in recession mode until the late '30s.
Locally, Winnipegers had to deal with what we often deal with now.
Disasters and silliness.
There was some small flooding and the occasional fire to put out (a huge blaze in the Weston area caused an estimated $360,000, which doesn't sound like much, but keep in mind this was 1930).
While our current city council bickers over every little thing, the '30s edition debated the pros and cons of naming apartment blocks (apparently, named buildings were a source of headaches for mail carriers).
Nice to see some things never change.
On a global scale, some monumental international events in 1930 include:
- Mohandas Gandhi setting the wheels in motion for India's independence from British rule (March).
- The invention of the Twinkee (April).
- In May, Ellen Church becomes the first stewardess (on a flight from Oakland to Chicago). Later that month, Amy Johnson becomes first woman to fly solo from England to Australia.
Nice work, Amy.
As the world grew fast around us, there is one thing that has remained constant with us here in Manitoba (other than complaining about mosquitoes or the weather):
Our penchant for pinching pennies.
Did you know a quart of milk was nine cents back then?
Need two pounds of butter? That'll be $0.79 please.
Hey, how about a dozen doughnuts for just 22 cents? Do the math -- that's less than two cents per dunk.
Mmmmm ... say-vings.
While U.S. president Herbert Hoover was celebrating the 10th consecutive year of prohibition south of the border in 1930, we here in Winnipeg could enjoy the sinful spirits of Bright's Concord Port for only 50 cents a bottle.
You'll need some smokes with that, of course, so let's buy some Blends (with the promise of being "easy on the throat") for a quarter. If that's too rich for your blood perhaps you can try to impress a pack of brunettes at the bar with a pack of Brunette Cigarettes for five cents cheaper.
Smokin' and drinkin' for less than a buck.
Great Depression? Doesn't sound like it.
That's all small potatoes though ...
Let's say you want a entry-level car (Ford Roadster), a tailored suit, and a set of eight Macgregor golf clubs and you only have $600 to spend.
No problem in 1930.
The vehicle comes to you brand new for around $520 and the suit measures up to 33 bucks. That leaves you just under $50 for some high end irons.
Try that trifecta today and you're looking at a Ford Focus ($16,795), a suit ($400), and some bargain basement sticks ($180) -- running you a total of $17,375 on your Gold card.
Leaving you very, very Blue at the end of the day.