Tag Archives: Baird & Riddell

Was Beating Anything from Baird & Riddell of Carleton Place Illegal?


s-l1600 (2)

So who were Baird & Riddell? Envelope for sale on Ebay


They were carpeting specialists among other things, and were much like a general store. Baird & Riddell put the carpet in at the old Carleton Place Post Office. Photo from Sessional Papers, Volume 27, Issue 1


old carpet beater for beating the dust out of carpets - common in the early 1900s

Carpet Beater

Tea leaves were squeezed almost dry and then sprinkled onto them to lay the dust. There were no such things as a vacuum cleaners or carpet sweepers. All the cleaning had to be done by hand with a carpet brush.

In good weather the rugs were cleaned more thoroughly by hanging them on the washing line to let the sun and wind get at them. Sometimes they had a good clean by being beaten while on the line. There were special cane carpet beaters sold specially for the purpose. Clouds of dust came out this way.

In the winter, the rugs were given an extra clean by dragging them over the snow, just quickly enough for them not to get too wet. Back in 1847 if you wanted to have clean carpets or rugs and decided to beat them in the streets, you risked going behind bars for two weeks, on top of getting a fine.

You could shake your doormat in the streets, but only before 8 am. But you couldn’t fly kites, throw anything on the streets, or have your chimney catch fire, even if it was an accident.

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Dan WilliamsThat’s the roof at the front of the building. There were rails and chicken wire sticking out from just above those windows. I suppose to try to keep us from jumping. I don’t remember how we got up there but once you did if you took a good run it wasn’t that hard to clear the wire. This was the easy roof jump. The scary one was off the roof, or the chimney, at the back into the flume. Those ones were too scary for me. The ledge was my limit.