Lost Buildings–Sinclair Brothers Tailor Shop




Photo: Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


The fully equipped tailor’s establishment of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries could be sparsely or luxuriously fitted. The basic requirements of the trade included shelving for the display of cloth bales, a counter where swatches could be consulted, a space where the client could be measured, a fitting room with mirrors, a sturdy table for cutting out, and possibly blocks for saddles to fit riding clothes properly.

Fashion prints were also hung as decoration or shown to clients as models. The shop might or might not include a space for workshops. More prestigious firms made garments on the premises while “jobbing” tailors sent bundles of pieces to outworkers, often women, who would assemble the garments at home.




This photo shows the interior of Sinclair Brothers Tailor Shop. That’s Herb Sinclair Junior to the left, ready to serve you. This store was located on the west side of Bridge Street, the second frame building north of the bridge. It has since been demolished.-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

The majority of shops were owned by men although some were owned by women or the widow of a shop owner. Women were not permitted to own property or sign contracts earlier in the period. It was also believed at the time that women should not be merchants as they lacked the brains, stamina and competitive drive that was required to run a business.


Shops themselves were small and could be dark and badly ventilated or bright and elaborately decorated and arranged and shops existed for every “social class”. The layouts were similar, however, and typically featured a “glass door or window”, a lighted counter area and racks behind the counter filled with merchandise.



13592206_10154097209756886_2612599651774538703_n.jpgPhoto: Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

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.

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