1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Help ID this image - what is happening?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Chatter - Anything and everything' started by Jonathan, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    This pic is of a group of young men from the Penman's clothing factory in Paris, Ontario, c. 1893. The triangle on their jerseys is a symbol used by that factory.That much we know. They are dressed for some sporting activity, perhaps a team sport which in 1893 is a fairly new concept - rugby and football have just been around for a few years. They are wearing sleeveless jerseys, loose fitting heavy cotton knickers, and rubber soled plimsole shoes. But why do they have these silly tricorn hats and curtain rod poles? Also, the pic is identified by someone as 'canaryboys, c. 1893' Any ideas?
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  2. amandainvermont

    amandainvermont Trade Member

    Love a good riddle. Notice the "feathers" on the hats - something to do with the "canary boys" ID? As an aside, here's another unexpected team - 1981 Tug of War team at Bowdoin College in Maine.

  3. The Vintage Vendeuse

    The Vintage Vendeuse Trade Member

    I have no idea of what sport your boys may have been playing but I did find that John Penman was a patron of the YMCA. The YMCA adopted the inverted triangle as its emblem, "the upper side, representing the spirit, being supported by the two other sides, representing the mind and body". A red triangle was on the jerseys of YMCA sports teams.

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  4. mags_rags

    mags_rags Trade Member

    "Adventures in Chin Building"?
    GemGem likes this.
  5. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    Fabulous Donna - thank-you! That helps... Also, apparently a slang meaning for canaryboys at the turn of the century was a wag, or knavish youth - in other words teen boys at risk... Still don't get the hat and pole...
    The Vintage Vendeuse likes this.
  6. The Vintage Vendeuse

    The Vintage Vendeuse Trade Member

    Basketball was a YMCA leader's invention in the 1890s, a way to provide "athletic distraction" and keep rowdy boys occupied.
    Perhaps this was a locally devised sport that never took off, LOL. Though arming a group of wayward teens with long wooden poles seems a bit risky...
  7. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Some form of stick fighting? Just a guess.
  8. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    This may be a long shot, but to just throw out another possibility I found an 1881 article about Canada's Great Fair Day, which was attended by many thousands of people. Many factories had exhibitions during the (week-long?) event in Toronto. Among the events was a Military Exercises event and a Drill Competition (although it notes the drill competition was by local school children).
  9. Distantdetails

    Distantdetails Administrator Staff Member

    Too interesting! Those poles have a "bulb" at the bottom, but not at the top. First I was thinking some form of golf but the poles wouldn't be that long. This is a great mystery. Maybe some form of field hockey??
  10. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Most of them have a bulb both ends. They really do look like curtain poles!
    Distantdetails likes this.
  11. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  12. Avantbo

    Avantbo Registered Guest


    Bottom row, third man from right has had military training.

    I am wondering if the team was involved in an early form of " Stickball or Stoolball or where a largish ball was pushed to a base or goal line.

    But am also wondering if pole ends were to prevent hands from slipping off.

    Don't know what feathers in hats meant to mean--maybe designate referees.

Share This Page