Tag Archives: Dentist

I Swear It’s True — Part 8 – Almas Knowlton – Blacksmith Photographer and Dentist

I Swear It’s True — Part 8 – Almas Knowlton – Blacksmith Photographer and Dentist

I am a believer that everyone should be remembered in life. Each person has a story and today it is all about Almas Knowlton. Almas, it seems, wore many hats in life. He began as a blacksmith, went on to give lectures on astronomy, made violins, made silhouettes, practised dentistry, and apparently invented a variety of things.

The quiet man who only wore grey suits never smoked and never drank. He was greatly interested in inventing things but his real joy was making violins. Almas would play the old hymns and tunes on the violins he made and he was a very faithful member of the Universalist Church, which was a faith tradition that encouraged each individual to develop a personal faith.

The only education Almas Knowlton received was at the Ball Schoolhouse, which stood only a few hundred yards from his childhood home in Coldbrook, which is now Knowlton, Quebec. Instead, Almas decided to self-educate himself by becoming a well-read man. He set up a blacksmith shop in the village of Knowlton where he probably shod his first horse. He was mending pitchforks, teapots, and guns, and putting irons on sleighs. Sometimes he was paid in cash, sometimes in oher ways. Some paid him in sugar, others in coal, some in corn. Then there were those that paid with sheep skins, for which folks got a credit of 30 cents each.

Being “bled” by the village blacksmith was one of the ways in which the people of Knowlton and the surrounding townships used to keep well in the 1800s.  Almas had quite a reputation as a “blood letter” and people used to go to him from miles around. Mr. Knowlton did not profess to be a physician in the regular sense, but he proved to be real handy in opening a vein in the arm and letting out superfluous of diseased blood. Almas owned some very fine lances such as the surgeons of the day used, and he handled them most expertly. Such was the word of the rest of the blacksmiths in all the counties for dealing with high blood pressure.

In due course, Almas Knowlton gave up his blacksmith business and went through the townships showing magic lantern slides and lecturing on astronomy and other subjects. He made a point of changing the slides quickly, to give the effect of a moving picture. One series of slides depicted a man pulling teeth, and I guess that Almas took a liking to it and it changed the course of his life years later.

Before long he had got into daguerreotypes which was an early kind of photograph made on glass by backing a thin negative with a black surface. Keep in mind too that daguerreotypes were expensive. Almas Knowlton was very enterprising in his methods of doing business. He travelled about the countryside with his equipment, and often  he would set up at a hotel and would inform the inhabitants of the vicinity that he was ready to take their portraits. He described himself as always ready to wait upon customers until they produced a smile.

Did you know why people didn’t smile in those days? The most common reason people didn’t smile in photographs in the past is blamed on dental hygiene. The most common cure for sick teeth during this time was to pull them out. There were no caps or other fixes to make chipped or broken teeth more aesthetically pleasing. So perhaps the reason tightly controlled mouths were considered more beautiful than beaming smiles in the past was in part due to dental hygiene.The rich were more likely to be photographed than the poor, and even then, most families were only photographed on special occasions, perhaps only even once in a lifetime. Maybe, that is why Almas took up a new occupation.

In 1860 he had taken up a new profession and was practising as a dentist. He had learned this science by studying under a Dr. Oilman at St. Albans, Vermont, a noted practitioner of the time. Almas Knowlton practised dentistry like he had practised photography. He moved from place to place, inviting those who needed attention to their teeth to call upon him. In extracting teeth he may have used an instrument called a turnkey. The turnkey had a handle and spindle, quite like that of a gimlet, and had a hinged claw. The claw would be jammed down into the gums. Then, by twisting and turning the turnkey, out would come the tooth.  The forceps used were more like a blacksmith’s tongs than the instrument used today, and the victim was lucky if more than one tooth did not come at a time. Usually the patient was laid on the broad of his back on the floor with a third party to hold him down. This procedure could only apply to the male sex. Almas Knowlton had a gum freezer. But one of his patients was heard to say that it was “about as good as cold water.” 

Knowlton was not content, however, to leave dentistry as he found it. He made a series of inventions through the years, mostly related to better people’s artificial teeth. When the first Dental Act of the Province of Quebec was passed, he became one of the first members of the profession that was thereby created. He received his diploma in 1870 and in the following year he located himself permanently in Waterloo. In 1902, a year befre he died, he gave the village of Waterloo free land to build a library. Almas Knowlton lived with no regrets dying in October, 1903. He was a man ahead of his times of his times and he deserves to be remembered. Therefore we document this amazing man for all to read and remember.

I Swear it’s True- Part 7 –The British Child Emigration Movement– Sherbrooke Weekend Newspaper

I Swear it’s True Part 5– The Lodge on the Summit of Owl’s Head– Sherbrooke Record Weekend Newspaper

I Swear it’s True! Part 4 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina – Tales from Bolton Pass —– SHERBROOKE RECORD WEEKEND PAPER

I Swear it’s True! Part 3 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina SHERBROOKE RECORD WEEKEND PAPER

I Swear it’s True!  Part 1 2 – by Linda Knight Seccaspina

I Swear it’s True Part 6– The Lost Black Colony of St. Armand Updates– Sherbrooke Record Weekend Newspaper

Did You Know This About Perth?

Did You Know This About Perth?

In November of 1939 a new telephone system was inaugurated in Perth and district at seven o’clock in the morning, when the crank system went into the discard and in its place the flashing of a small electric lamp at central informs the operate a call is being placed.


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Perth Remembered —Picture of the backside of the Perth Hotel looking from North Street down Gore Street. This was picture taken before the fire at the hotel showing the third floor. The building in the foreground once housed the Bell Canada switching office where all the switchboard operators worked



The actual cutover which took less than a minute, did not inconvenience the public.  To Perth, one of the oldest towns in Eastern Ontario, belongs the honour of having the second telephone that ever was in use. Professor Bell, inventor of the telephone, sent to his friend. Dr. J. F. Kennedy, a dentist of Perth, a pair of telephones and the doctor stretched a wine front his office on Foster street to his residence on D’Arcy Street and was able to communicate between the two places. The first exchange established here was in 1888.




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Perth Remembered photo

That all changed September 15th, 1963 when Perth would have one of the most modern dial exchanges in Canada. There were 2,375 phones in Perth at the time. George Thompson, regional Bell Telephone manager provided the following suggestion about the use of the dial telephone: “The most important step is to be certain you have the right number and if you are in doubt consult your new telephone directory. If the number is not listed dial 411 to reach an information operator. Once you are sure of the number pick up the receiver and hold it to your ear. Listen for the dial tone, a steady humming sound. Now you are ready to dial. Place your index finger firmly in the dial opening through which the first figure of the number desired appears. Pull the dial steadily around to the finger stop. Then remove your finger and allow the dial to spin back by itself. Do not try to hurry it for doing so can result in a wrong number. If you finger slips replace the receiver and start over. After you have dialed the figures of the number listen for the signals. A soft intermittent bur-r-r signifies that the called telephone is ringing and a buzz-buzz-buzz means that it is busy.”

If you had a party line as many of you would remember you would dial the number, hear the busy signal and they you would hang up then both your own and the called party’s bell would ring. When the ringing would stop that would mean that the called party has answered and you would pick up and answer. We are still on a party line at the cottage at Otty Lake.

When this picture was taken in 1951 there were over 1,600 telephones in service in Perth. The picture shows the operators at their switchboard. Included in the group were operators, Primrose Lindop, Helen Dodds, Constance Horan, Joyce Code and Rhona Huddleston with chief operator Nettie Burke. In 1935 the telephone exchange was located in the Meighen block on Foster street and then moved the building attached to and behind the Perth Hotel at the corner of Gore and North Street.– Perth Remembered



Perth Courier, August 3, 1934

Early Telephones

Forty seven years ago this month in August of 1877 the first list of Perth subscribers to telephone service in a small pocket sized directory that contained the names and addresses of all telephone users in eastern Ontario and Quebec was put out.  At that time there were 19 telephones here.

The limited number of instruments in Perth in 1887 excluded the need for telephone numbers.  Subscribers were then called by name.  A notice prominently displayed in bold type at the bottom of various pages throughout the book advises persons calling that he name of the party wanted should be “spoken with especial distinction to prevent mistakes”.  Another foot note frequently encountered throughout the directory was “do not attempt to use the telephone on the approach of or during a thunderstorm”.  Recalling a feature of the old time telephone appliances the in use in homes and places of business there appeared another note to the effect that “should the transmitter be out of order it is possible to speak through the hand telephone (receiver)”.

The following subscriber lists of August, 1877 recalls the names of prominent citizens and business establishments of many years ago:

Allan House, Gore Street

Allan, J.A., barrister, Gore Street

Bank of Montreal, Gore Street

Canadian Pacific Railway, depot

Court House

Electric Light Company, Gore Street

Elliott and Rogers, barristers, Foster Street

Farmer’s Hotel, Foster Street

Fraser, Dr. H.D., Foster Street

Hale, F.A., barrister, Foster Street

Hicks House, Gore Street

Inland Revenue Office, Gore Street

Kennedy, J.F., dentist, D’Arcy Street

Kellock, Dr. J.D., D’Arcy and Gore Streets

Kellock, J.F., druggist, Gore Street

Malloch, E.G., barrister, Foster Street

Meighen Brothers, merchants, Gore and Foster Streets

Radenhurst, W.H., barrister, Gore Street

It is interesting to note that there were no home or residence telephone here at that time and of the 19 instruments in service in offices and other business establishments, there were five located in law offices.  The late Dr. J.F. Kennedy operated with the title of “agent” in charge of the Bell Telephone Company’s Central office containing the switchboard apparatus and associated equipment located on D’Arcy Street on the same premises occupied by his dentistry parlors.



Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.



The Day the Balderson Telephone Co Disappeared


The Devil’s Telephone? The Ouija Board

Thomas Raines Almonte — US Confederate Soldier Mayor and Dentist– Biological Mystery!!!

Thomas Raines Almonte — US Confederate Soldier Mayor and Dentist– Biological Mystery!!!

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Dentist on the run –-The Millstone
One of Almonte’s first dentists was a glamorous character. Dr. T.W. Raines arrived in Almonte in 1866, on the run from the United States where he had been an officer in the Civil War. He was an escaped prisoner of war from Jacksonville and was in constant fear of arrest. Almonte proved safe, however since he ran a dental practice here until his death in 1889.

Darcy Maloney emailed the Lanark County Genealogical Society and needs your help.

Does anyone in the region have a family life story of late 1800s  Almonte mayor Thomas Raines? Bonus points if there is rumor about a love tryst! (I’d like to compare DNA!) My great great grandmother is said to have had three children with him. His Obituary comments that he “helped many poor women and children”. Raines never had children with his wife, so we don’t have a known descendent to compare.

I have just discovered who my GGGrandfather was!His name is listed as Thomas JW Raines, though he usually went by simply Thomas W. Raines. Here’s the mystery. My grandfather looked for the name of his grandfather all his life. Grandpa’s grandmother was never married and all three of her children were from the same man. Through some old family letters, we got the name of Thomas Raines who was a dentist and the mayor of Almonte, Ontario.

The family letters (and some newspaper accounts in Almonte) state that Thomas was a soldier in the US Civil War and escaped from a prison and went to Canada. He got Sarah Johnstone pregnant but they were not permitted to marry (she was 17). He left Almonte “to return to Alabama” to go to medical (dental) school. He then returned to Almonte to marry a prominent socialite and open his dental practice and later become mayor. He and Sarah Johnstone had 2 more children (b 1876 and 1882) although he married Lucina Rose in 1869! (granddaughter of Daniel Shipman) This is pretty much all we know about him.

Of course, he could have been a deserter who changed his name when he went to Canada–but why would he “return to Alabama?” People would have known him. He could have been from another state as well, but I’d bet he was a southerner. It would be an easy mistake for a Canadian to say “Alabama” even if he were from Georgia, Mississippi or South Carolina!

We may have run into a dead end with Thomas Raines family in the US, but if anyone sees ANYTHING that looks like it would fit, please forward to me!I have looked up a couple of Thomas (or T) Raines and tried to research if there was any follow on information about them (later on deaths or children born from them to rule them out).

Darcy Maloney  in Wall, Texas.

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Would like to know….

I’m looking for ANYONE who might have a family lore story of Thomas Raines being in their line.  This would be an illegitimate birth since he was married, and never had children with his wife Lucina Rose (granddaughter of Daniel Shipman).

I’m interested in comparing DNA with anyone who has even a “hint” of this rumor in their family.  Raines’ obituary in 1898 said that “in the short space that has elapsed since his death, numerous instances have come to light of his having relieved the wants of many a poor family in town, and that, too, without the public having the slightest knowledge of it ; so that his acts in this connection were always purely unselfish.”  It also mentions that the streets were lined with women and children.

The cynical side of me wonders if he had other “kept women” in Almonte.  My great great grandmother was terribly poor and I wonder if he helped support her and her three children.

He was said to have been a US confederate soldier from Alabama.  But so far, DNA of my mother and her brother point to a small town in western Virginia (there are no known family from the US) and the surname “Kyle.”  I sincerely wonder if “Raines” was indeed his real name and perhaps he was not from Alabama, but from Virginia (also confederate).

Also does anyone have any references to lists of names of Confederate Spies in Canada.  I have read “Dixie and the Dominion” and find it very interesting the influence the US Civil War had on the Canadian constitution.

Thanks so much!
Darcy Maloney

Wall, Texas

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Almonte Gazette November 1898

DR. RAINES’ SUDDEN DEATH   We are being constantly reminded that man has no continuing abode in this world. To say that the people of Almonte were shocked last Monday by the news that Dr. Raines had died about seven o’clock that morning is but feebly to express the feelings of our citizens.

Until the G a z e t t e made the announcement last week few were aware that he had been ill. Indeed, he had been seriously ill with angina pectoris only about two weeks (though in unsatisfactory health for a year or so) and to all appearance was rapidly recovering, when the cord of- life suddenly snapped. On Monday morning, just before his death, the Doctor had been conversing with his wife, and in answer to her inquiries said he felt better than he had been since he took ill. A little later Mrs. Raines left his bedroom to do some work in the kitchen, and when she returned about ten minutes afterwards, she found that the spirit had passed away.

 - Almonte Almonte, Feb. it. Mrs. Helen Coatea...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  13 Feb 1899, Mon,  Page 2



The feelings of a devoted wife under such circumstances can be more easily imagined than described. The late Thomas William Raines was a Southerner by birth, having been born in Alabama in the year 1833. His parents came out from England in 1832. His father, who died ten years ago, at the advanced age of 94, was a clergyman of the Methodist church. Both his father and mother died as suddenly as he did himself. After learning his profession, that of dentistry, he served for some time in the Southern army during the American civil war, joining the Confederate forces in 1861, and was for a time recruiting officer in the state of Missouri. He was for three months a member of the 10th Louisiana artillery corps. He was under fire at the battles of Lexington^ Wilson Creek, Springfield, Lone Jack and Osage River, under Generals Price and, Vandorne.

 - after. a lengthy sfeeence. : Dr. T. W. Raines...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 May 1898, Mon,  Page 2

Three times he was taken prisoner, once he was exchanged, and once he escaped from McDowell’s College (at that time a military prison), St. Louis, in 1864. He escaped across the border and settled in Almonte the same year, remaining here ever since, and enjoyed an extensive and lucrative practice.

In 1868 Dr, Raines was married by the late Rev. Wm. McKenzie to Miss Lucina L. Rose, eldest daughter of the late Mrs. Catherine Rose, and grand-daughter of the late Daniel Shipman, the founder of Almonte, and after whom the place was named (“Shipman’s Mills”) about the year 1824. We are probably within the mark when we say that no one in Almonte could be more mused than will the warm-hearted, genial and generous Dr. Raines. For more than quarter-of-a-century he was closely identified with the business and official life of Almonte, and well deserved the tribute paid him by the civic board at their meeting on Monday.

 - T. W. Raines, L. D. 8., Is

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  11 May 1898, Wed,  Page 8

In 1871, when Almonte became incorporated as a town, he was elected its first reeve, and was for some time her efficient and popular representative at the county council. He was mayor for four successive terms— 1891 to 1894. He was also for a time a member of the school board, and was a warm friend of education.  He spent time, labor and money in trying to get increased railway facilities.


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In the short space that has elapsed since his death, numerous instances have come to light of his having relieved the wants of many a poor family in town, and that, too, without the public having the slightest knowledge of it, so that his acts in this connection were always purely unselfish. At times the deceased took an active part in politics, but, being of an independent turn, he acted at different times with both parties, but latterly with the Liberal party.

 - Mrs. Blake, who has been living on the Island,...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  09 May 1899, Tue,  Page 8

The funeral on Wednesday afternoon was a splendid tribute to the departed and a tangible mark of sympathy with his wife. The town council and town officials attended in a body, and the procession was headed by the Citizens’ Brass Band playing the “ Dead March in Saul.” The turnout of citizens and those from a distance was very large, and included all classes and all denominations. The streets were lined with women and children.

In spite of the bad roads many drove long distances to show their esteem for the dead. The services at the house were conducted by Rev. W. S. Jamieson, M.A., pastor of the Methodist church, assisted by Rev. T. Hagen. In the course of his short but excellent address Mr. Jamieson referred in feeling terms to the sad circumstances, and praised the late Dr. Raines for some of the marked characteristics of his life—his public spiritedness and loyalty as a citizen, his large-hearted generosity and his charitable disposition.

 - Dr. Raines has sold his interest ia tb Al- Al-...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  17 Sep 1887, Sat,  Page 2

The pallbearers were Mayor Drynan, Reeve Shearn, Deputy-Reeve Cole, and Councillors Wylie, Haydon and Cowie. The remains were deposited in the Methodist cemetery on the ninth line of Ramsay. NOTES. Mr. David McElroy, of Carp, drove up to attend the funeral. The town flag and that, on the Bank of Montreal flew at half-mast during the week. The members of the Almonte town council sent a handsome wreath as a final mark of respect.

Two brothers of Dr. Raines are living—one a doctor in Missouri, the other a merchant in Illinois. Mr. A. C. Caldwell, of Lanark, was present to represent his father, the local member, the latter being unavoidably absent in Toronto. Dr. Raines was an expert photographer as well as a dentist, and for some years after arriving in Almonte he ran a “ gallery” in partnership with Mr. J. F. Bradley, the firm being Raines & Bradley. The newly-organized Citizens’ Band, under the leadership of Mr. W. Scrimger, performed a graceful act in giving their services at the funeral. The band was always liberally supported by the Doctor, and had no firmer friend in town.

The late Dr. Raines was in his earlier years an enthusiastic Freemason and Oddfellow. When he came here from the south he was a member of the triple link brotherhood, and it was through his efforts that Alpha Lodge I.O.O.F. was instituted in 1875. At the regular meeting of that lodge on Monday night a resolution of sympathy was passed, and the brethren procured a beautiful floral wreath, which was placed on the casket by three of the brethren who were initiated by the deceased, the first Noble Grand, at the first meeting of the lodge—Messrs. R. W. Haydon, W. S. Boyd and Needham.

 - : Dr. Oliver, of Carle ton Place, dentl.it, and...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Dec 1898, Fri,  Page 6

 A New D e n t i s t . The death of Dr. Raines has created a vacancy in the ranks of our professional men, and we understand that it will be filled by Dr. Oliver, of Carleton Place, who is recommended as a citizen of the highest type and a gentleman of skill in the dental line. The Dr. is also a musician of no mean repute, and will be a welcome this section of the addition to the circles that enjoy country and was always ready to do the practice of the divine art what he could to forward the material interests of the town.

Thomas W. Raines
Event Type: Burial
Event Place: Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cemetery: Wesleyan Methodist Burial Ground+
Note: COATES, In Loving Memory Of, Thomas W. Raines, Born,Jan.7,1833, Died At Almonte, Nov.14,1898, Resting In Hope, His Wife, Lucina L. Rose, Born,Sept.21,1849, Died, April,24,1923







George Eccles Almonte Hero!

Miss Eva Denault- Almonte 1911 Fire Heroine

The Faces On the Almonte Steps–the Rest of the Story

Did We Find Henry Lang’s Barn?

Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte

Almonte in the Twenties

Scrapbook Clippings of George Jones-The One Man Band from Almonte

Remembering John Kerry from Almonte—By Karen Hirst

1871 Lanark Era

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign–Dr. Winters 154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place –Jaan Kolk Files

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign–Dr. Winters 154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place –Jaan Kolk Files



From Andy Graham–‎Lost Ottawa

This painted window screen has been in my family forever, likely found by my dad or one of his brothers or one of their “questionable friends”.  I’ve always been curious to know when and where (likely in the Glebe somewhere?) Dr. Winters had his/her practice. (edited by Linda to keep Dad’s legacy intact LOL–well done though Andy)

Well our amazing historian Jaan Kolk took up the challenge once again and posted this. The funny thing is I posted the same clipping last week, but in reality it was just another newspaper clipping until Jaan dug more information and now it is
brought to life.


Jaan Kolk added this.

I believe these two men were from Carleton Place originally. In 1898, dentist W.R. Winters is mentioned in the Carleton Place column of the Ottawa Journal (mostly for his hunting trips.) *Henry Winters is also mentioned in the same year as coming home from and returning to dentistry school in Toronto . Since the the sign does not identify which Dr. Winters, I suspect it was from W.R. William’s office in Carleton Place, when he was the only one. It may have been kept by W.R. as a memento when he moved to Ottawa. Here’s one for you, Linda Seccaspina!

Here’s a clip from the Carleton Place column of the Ottawa Journal Oct. 7, 1898. Apparently, false reports of the deaths of prominent people did not begin with internet social media!



Ottawa Journal Oct. 7, 1898




154-160 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1885- Sumner Block

Valiquette’s hair dressing was in this building and later Dr. J.A. McEwen had his office
here. Max Movshovitz’s dry goods store was located in what was known as the
Sumner Building. Morbic Sumner operated a dry goods store also. The Sumner Building at 154-160 Bridge Street is on Lot 25, which is one of the larger lots on Bridge Street. In the 1960’s a large fire occurred and a parking lot took over where some of the businesses had been. So it is unclear based on land deeds if some of the businesses were located in the Sumner Building or at what is now the parking lot. Dr.  William Reuben Winters was a dentist here and lived on High Street. His practice was taken over by Dr. Smith an MD. Two Stanzel sisters operated a millinery store here also.

Marriage 1896

6947-96 (Lanark Co) William Reuben WINTERS, 27, dentist, Pontiac, Carleton Place, s/o Hector & Anna WINTERS married Ellen ELLIOTT, 21, Brockville, Carleton Place, d/o Johnston B & Abigail ELLIOTT, witn: John DAVISON of Carleton Place & Carrie WINTERS of Pembroke, 31 Dec 1896, Carleton Place


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  22 Jan 1904, Fri,  Page 3


I assume that Henry is the brother of William

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  07 Oct 1899, Sat,  Page 6



William R. had the older practice. . I see no mention of family for W.R. in Journal archives. Henry had a daughter Beatrice, mentioned in the Carleton Place column Sept. 12, 1898. May 16, 1917 the Journal reported Dr. Henry Winters’ daughter Beatrice had graduated for U of T, and another note in 1919 had Beatrice Winters on the committee for an Ottawa Collegiate reunion dance–Jaan Kolk


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  13 Aug 1901, Tue,  Page 2



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Oct 1899, Sat,  Page 6


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  07 Oct 1899, Sat,  Page 6


William Winters
Canada Census, 1901
Name William Winters
Event Type Census
Event Date 31 Mar 1901
Event Place Lanark (south/sud), Ontario, Canada
Gender Male
Age 31
Marital Status Married
Nationality Canadian
Ethnicity English
Religion Methodist
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Head
Birth Year (Estimated) 1870
Birthplace Ontario—





He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

Jaan Kolk Files—–

Please take the Devil Out of Me? Rev. James Wilson of Lanark

Did You Know we Once Had a Grand Hotel? The Grand Central Hotel

The Cholera Epidemic of 1911

The Ashton Hotel– Questions Questions Flemmings and McFarlanes

Benoit & Richardson Photo– a Mystery

Before there was Baker Bob’s There was The Almonte Bakery

Does Anyone Remember Cohen’s in Lanark Village?

The Children of Ross Dhu –Evacuation to Canada

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The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
30 Apr 1902, Wed  •  Page 5

Death by X-Ray?

Death by X-Ray?


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  03 Mar 1965, Wed,  Page 5

Gary Box —My uncle Bert researched X-Rays and lost an arm because of the way it was used at the time. He was one of the funniest people I ever knew. Thank you Linda.


X-rays were discovered in 1895 and since then much has been written about Wilhelm Roentgen and the events surrounding the discovery. However, there have been only scattered references in the literature about the early workers who dedicated their life, and death, to X-rays.

The first known human to be killed by X-rays was Clarence Dally who had spent a number of years working on Thomas Edison’s X-ray light bulb. After years of work, his hair fell out and his skin erupted in lesions that wouldn’t heal. While Edison cancelled the bulb, Dally continued working with X-rays. Burns on his hands became cancerous, and he had both of his arms amputated. He died in 1898 at the age of 39.

Image result for shoe x ray machine

During the 1930s, ’40s, and early ’50s, x-ray machines were also a not-infrequent feature of American shoe stores, which used them to ensure a better fit. You can see a demonstration of the concept in this clip from the 1920s silent film, General Personal Hygiene:

Exposure from a dental X-ray is roughly the same as being exposed to 1 day of environmental background radiation.An X-ray shoe-fitting fluoroscope was common in shoe stores during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. When a person put their foot in the fluoroscope, they were effectively standing on an X-ray tube. A shoe model for the shoe-fitting machines received such serious radiation burns that she had to have her leg amputated.

The daughter of one early adopter later reported that “at one of my birthday parties we had fancy rings for the children to wear and showed them their skeletal hands to loud shrieks of excitement: knowing what we do today, of course, he wouldn’t have done it.”


One of the strangest things found was when Australian Pat Skinner came back to the hospital 18 months after surgery complaining of stomach pain the doctors found something they’d lost over a year ago…their surgical scissors! Actually the same scenario happened to my late father-in-law years ago after the surgeon left scissors in him and it took a year of wondering what was wrong to find out thanks to an X Ray.

                        More Box Familyhistoricalnotes

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  26 May 1956, Sat,  Page 5

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  06 Aug 1924, Wed,  Page 22


Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  01 Mar 1924, Sat,  Page 20



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  26 Apr 1923, Thu,  5 O’ Clock Edition,  Page 4

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  02 Apr 1927, Sat,  Page 2

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.


Oh Those Crazy Old Family Tales…

Prologue to Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo

The Short but Illustrious Life of Dr. Daniel Muirhead

What Was it Like Living in Beckwith 1800s? Christina McEwen Muirhead

Christena McEwen– The Belle of Beckwith Part 1 -“The Woodcocks”

Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Was a Boldt Castle Boathouse Once in our Midst? See the Home of the Daphne!

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

“Bossin’ Billy” McEwen Muirhead –Box family

McLaren Left it All to the McLeod Sisters–His Maids!

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