(Literally the coolest headline I've ever written!)
Late last week while working on our floor we found pieces of old newspaper sandwiched between layers of wood. The pieces of paper are in pretty rough shape but we were able to identify the front page of The Daily Intelligencer, dated February 5, 1919. This is where its gets freaky on the front page, front and center, is a story with the headline "Organized Labour Asks For Beer With 6 per cent. Alcohol" . . . not making this up.
The way we figure it about a hundred years ago someone was trying to level the floor. This resourceful person looked around and using what was at hand folded up some newspaper to shim the flooring. Fast forward to last week while we are cutting a hole in the floor, find the newspaper shim and very carefully removed it.
After I got a good look at it and got the "Can you believe this? What are the odds.” out of my system I sent an email to the Hastings County Historical Society asking for help. The paper we pulled out is barely readable, incredibly fragile and I really wanted to read that beer story. The folks at the Hastings County Historical Society passed our message onto the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County.
Amanda Hill at the Archives came to the rescue with a scanned copy of the microfilm they had in the archives, we now have a digital copy of the original newspaper.
The whole scanned paper is below as well as photos of our copy. The beer story is right on the front page and it's a fun read. The story reports that the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada is requesting that beer of a higher alcohol content, than the Prohibition legislation in Ontario had set at 2.5 %, be approved for manufacture.
We’re looking into protecting these amazing pieces of history but in the meantime consider that in February 1919 $5.50 was a bargain for women's shoes, in Hockey news the Belleville juniors won the group title at Cobourg by a score of 4 - 1, and all beer had a max alcohol content of 2.5%.
To read the full paper in PDF format click here The Daily Intelligencer, February 5, 1919