A Warning to Those Gambling Ladies of Carleton Place!


Victorian tea

Both men and women were drawn in by Lady Luck’s tests of chance even though there were differences in regards to their typical approaches to gambling. Men, in general, bet on a wider range of activities including cards, dice, sporting events (e.g., boxing and races), etcetera. Really, though, the true gamblers, would bet on almost anything. Women, however, particularly women of higher social standing, tended to keep their gambling more focused on cards, and also tended to keep their stakes lower.

In 1926 the growing habit of playing bridge for money was spreading through the smaller communities, and Carleton Place was no different. Some of the bridge clubs, especially one on Lake Ave East, was whispered as having genuine gambling contests. The Herald remarked that in our small town the ladies are genuinely playing for hard-earned money. Prizes were being bought with the proceeds of an assessment on each member at each meeting.

“We suppose the bridge crazy feminine species has to do with the fact that she now refuses to bake, iron, and even sweep in her own home,” said The Herald. The paper also placed blame on the husbands of the time. They said when the ladies began their little euchre clubs in years gone by—the men just smiled and said,

“Of course its all right–you girls ought to play a little”.

Unfortunately, when a monetary consideration was injected into the game the motive of the action changed. The women were now accused of  jeopardizing the support of their families, hope for the future, and obligations to their communities. Woman were told that a half dollar and an afternoon spent at the church thimble bee was more of a benefit to the community of Carleton Place, than an afternoon spent playing bridge for a prize in which they might half a dollar invested.

Nov 11 1926

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s