Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | March 15, 2017

Labour Day Parades – 1950s

In the peak years of organized labour at the cotton mills, Howard Smith paper mill and Courtaulds/TCF, Labour Day Parades were an annual happening on the streets of Cornwall.

Labour Day_1953 FX BW CR WM

This photo from the 1953 Parade sports three happy fellas in a Valley Auto Wreckers vintage truck.

Labour Day_1955 ca CR WM

In 1955 Howard Smith’s float theme was 2,000 years of paper making history. While popularized in 105 AD, paper making as we know it can be traced back to ca. 100 BC. Papyrus, on the other hand, dates to 3,000 BC.

Labour Day 1958_3

This photo from the 1958 Parade was the Courtaulds TCF entry, with a theme of Pioneers in Packaging.

Labour Day 1958_4

That same year Howard Smith was celebrating its 75th anniversary. Milestones are listed on the float for the years 1883, 1888, 1919, 1927, 1945 and 1958 .

Labour Day 1958_5

Also in 1958 Courtaulds was showcasing its tire fibre.

Labour Day 1958_6

Kingcot was a Canada Cottons brand; they were sporting an Hawaiian theme in 1958.

These and many more historic photos can be accessed in the SD&G Historical Society Archives at your Cornwall Community Museum during regular hours.




  1. Your Labour Day Parades sequence which includes a 1958 photograph of Courtauld’s Tire Display, features my sister Fenny van de Werfhorst, sporting an orange/white bathing suit sitting on the float. She was the receptionist at Coutaulds Main Office Building, Montreal Road from August 1956 until February 1959.
    So neat to discover this never before seen photograph! She would have loved to being the spotlight once more.
    Donated another photograph of her standing beside this float to your museum several years ago.

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